Albanian Immigrants in Italy: Migration Plans, Coping Strategies and Identity Issues
Title: Albanian Immigrants in Italy: Migration Plans, Coping Strategies and Identity Issues
Citation: Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 2003, 29, 997-1014
This paper studies the adaptation and survival strategies that immigrants develop from the beginning of their migration project through to their establishment in the host country. We are particularly interested in how immigrants make sense of the host country social and institutional environment and the related immigration policy measures and implementation practices, and their strategies for coping with it. More specifically, the study examines how immigrants organise their migration project upon departure from the country of origin and how they adapt their plans and develop coping strategies in response to the social and institutional environment of the country of destination. We also explore how they experience the daily practices of immigration policy implementation in the Italian administration offices and how they perceive institutional or private attitudes of discrimination (the presence of prejudice, discrimination and/or hostile treatment or, on the other hand, the presence of flexible and personalised practices of policy implementation in favour of immigrants). We shall thus show how immigrants act in a context of limitations and opportunities which they actively integrate into their migration experience and their understanding of themselves, their country of origin and the host country. The research is based on 30 interviews conducted with Albanian immigrants (22 men and 8 women) between September and December 2001 in the area of Florence.
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