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CRONEM Conference 2006 Multicultural Britain:From AntiRacism to Identity Politics to... 1415th June

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Roehampton University, Southlands College, ... (University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy) The research object ... The research covered ethnic communities of Milan. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: CRONEM Conference 2006 Multicultural Britain:From AntiRacism to Identity Politics to... 1415th June


1
CRONEM Conference 2006Multicultural
BritainFrom Anti-Racism to Identity Politics
to...?14-15th June Roehampton University,
Southlands College, London, United KingdomThe
Construction of Hybrid Identities Ethnic
Community Leaders in ItalyIlenya
Camozzi(University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy)
2
The research object
  • Modes of relation, self-representations and
    identitarian consequences experienced by subjects
    who occupy a border position between two
    cultures.
  • Subjects who come from a foreign context and who
    propose themselves as brokers between their own
    cultural group and the institutions of the
    immigration context representatives or leaders
    of ethnic communities in Italy.
  • The leader is engaged to support the aggregation
    of compatriots by way of association, their
    social and working insertion, the promotion and
    safeguard of their culture of origin.

3
Hypothesis
  • An ethnic community leader could be considered a
    Marginal Man (Park, 1928) ? a cultural hybrid, in
    balance between a world of origin and a new one.
  • The leader could occupy a particular space a
    border space, an interstice between two different
    worlds and only here he could define his
    identity. This identity is hybrid.
  • Ambiguity of this role and space from a negative
    sense to a positive approach to the concept of
    border and hybridity as a space of fertility.

4
The field
  • The research covered ethnic communities of Milan.
  • I surveyed 87 ethnic communities and conducted 20
    in-depth interviews.
  • Survey period 2004
  • Sample
  • East Europe 2 Albania, Ukraine
  • North Africa Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia,
  • Africa 2 Senegal, Eritrea, Ethiopia
  • Asia Sri Lanka, 2 Philippines, 2 China
  • South America Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina
  • Middle East Kurdistan

5
The sociological type
  • Socio-demographic characteristics
  • Migratory outline
  • Role within the ethnic community

6
Playing Self and hybrid identity
  • The particular capacity of the leader to move
    between different belongings, between We and They
    witnessed in his/her use of different pronouns
    and references. A playing Self.
  • For an ethnic community leader it is very hard to
    mediate between compatriots and Italian
    institutions. Difficulties are both material and
    psychological.
  • A particular space where (s)he is located - an
    interstitial space in between They/compatriots
    and They/Italians. Here (s)he experiences a new
    form of identity ? a hybrid identity.
  • The leaders cultural models. Because of their
    inadequacy to understand mechanisms of the new
    society, (s)he has to keep distances developing a
    more objective view of social reality.

7
Conclusions
  • Italian ethnic community leaders symbolise the
    strong potential of hybridity. The negative
    meaning of this concept is reversed in
    contemporary societies hybridity becomes a means
    for fertility and creates new forms of identity.
  • Leaders of immigrant associations represent an
    interesting object for the investigation of the
    features of multicultural societies. They are the
    main spokespeople for identity politics and for
    struggle for recognition of many migrants.
  • Leaders also represent an interesting example of
    the emergence of new forms of identity - hybrid
    identities - as a necessary tool for dialogue
    between cultures.
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