The impact of Italian local policies on Romanian Roma migration: Comparative case studies
Stefania Pontrandolfo & Leonardo Piasere
University of Verona
This presentation contributes to the debate on migration as a process of social transformation by presenting the results of ethnographic research carried out with Romanian Roma migrants in two Italian cities. We will show how Romanian Roma networks can not only produce socioeconomic changes in the origin country, but also, under certain conditions, in the destination country, as well as in other countries where these people may migrate after a long stay in the Italian territory. These changes are the result of continual negotiations and re-arrangements of the experiences, motivations and ambitions of Roma migrants, and the product of migration policies as well as of living conditions and the level of anti-gypsyism in the receiving country. The combination of these factors produces a variety of situations; some migrants accept a considerable worsening of their status in the migration country in order to ensure an improvement in the origin country; for some migrants a worsening of status in the migration country is not counterbalanced by improvements in the origin country; some migrants explore Europe in search of status improvement across both the origin and the destination country; and some migrants achieve status improvement in the origin and receiving countries. We will conclude with some reflections on the way in which social change and social re-stratification can occur in both the origin and destination countries, and how that same social change could also depend highly on levels of anti-gypsyism within a country.