Codice anagrafe nazionale ricerche: 58240
Denominazione: Istituto di Ricerche Economiche e Sociali dell'Emilia-Romagna

CF: 92032080373
Codice iscrizione provvisorio anagrafe: 58240

Data codice iscrizione anagrafe: 11/01/2007
Sede legale Via Marconi 69
Regione Emilia-Romagna
Provincia BO
CAP 40122
Comune Bologna

Fax: 051-294804
Natura giuridica: Altri Enti
Attività: ISTAT: 73200
Attività Ricerca e sviluppo sperimentale nel campo delle scienze sociali e umanistiche

Research Area: International Migration
Year: 2016
Type of Publication: Master Thesis
Keywords: migration, integration, unity, diversity, aspiration, capability, autonomy, self-esteem, social inclusion
Authors: Suzana Abrahamsson
University: Alma Mater Studiorum
Address: Bologna
Supervisor (University): Bernardo Venturi Co-supervisor (University): Gustavo Gozzi Supervisor (Host organization): Antonio Ori
This paper explores how the migrants’ attempt to create a meaningful life in an alien world is met through a qualitative case study conducted in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. In the light of Amartya Sen’s capability approach, the study examines the migrants’ genuine capacities to aspire and argues that migrants are human beings with aspirations like anyone else who, if given the capacity to aspire, cannot only contribute to the development of the ‘host’ country by filling gaps, or to their countries of origin through remittances, but also to their own personal lives by creating a sense of meaningfulness. Whereas the first part of the case study is based on interviews with various stakeholders in migration matters, in the scope to investigate the interrelated challenges that lie ahead of this attempt and are ought to be overcome, such as ignorance, while at the same time highlighting some of the best practices that contribute to it, such as awareness, empowerment and inclusion, the second part changes focus to the migrants’ perspectives by narrating some of their aspirations, frustrations and desires, which are often overlooked, but most necessary to consider before speaking about migrants in benefit terms. In this context, the paper also stresses the importance of recognizing human diversity, that is to say the recognition of variation in experiences, values, skills and outlooks, and the need to treat everybody according to their needs and abilities rather than ethnicity or race. With regard to these points of view, the paper argues that the idea that people want to be parasites and to not make themselves useful is based on a flawed notion of what human beings are, since in reality we all seek recognition from others and being passive not only leads to phenomena such as ‘brain waste’, that is to say the waste of skills, and ‘clientification’, namely learning to become welfare clients, but eventually also to the loss of one’s self-esteem. The paper thus encourages the prevailing integration policies to embrace a multidimensional capability approach by enabling capacity building tools, which in turn enable the capacity to aspire and lead one to reach one’s aspirations on one’s own terms and eventually become in charge of one’s own life. Through its emerging recommendations, its aim is to create a foundation that the existing integration policies can take into account and build upon. The current ‘refugee crisis’ might still be in a so-called emergency phase, where priority is mainly given to reception rather than integration. Nevertheless, in development terms, after emergency comes recovery and reconstruction. This is the reason why the paper insists that being prepared is essential in order to not repeat previously made mistakes, which mainly has led to social exclusion rather than inclusion. The paper could thus be of relevance to policy makers and other professionals working with integration issues, both inside an outside of Emilia-Romagna and Italy. Through a small-scale study it wishes to contribute to a greater understanding of the importance of having a policy that not merely values human capital, but first and foremost the human being per se.