Accepted Paper:

Arab Mediterranean youth in Italy: challenging dominant narratives about migrations and belonging between Europe and Northern Africa/Middle East  

Authors:

Daniela Cherubini (University of Milano-Bicocca)
Paola Rivetti (Dublin City University)
Ilenya Camozzi
Carmen Leccardi (University of Milano-Bicocca)

Paper short abstract:

The paper discusses the potentialities of qualitative social research in challenging dominant narratives about migrations and relations between Europe and Northern Africa &Middle East, by drawing on authors' experience within a research project on young people in South & East Mediterranean countries

Paper long abstract:

We will contribute to the discussion on the potentialities of qualitative social research in challenging dominant narratives about migrations and relations between Europe and Northern Africa and Middle East, by drawing on our research experience within the FP7 project "Empowering the new generation: towards a new social contract in South and East Mediterranean countries (SAHWA)" (www.sahwa.eu).

We will focus on the preliminary results of a qualitative research on young people of Arab Mediterranean origins living in Milan, Italy. The case study involves in-depth interviews to young men and women, as well as discourse analysis of media contents and blogs by the Arab Mediterranean youth in Italy. It explores their views on the Arab uprisings and their aftermaths; particular attention will be devoted to the experiences and narratives of transnational participation and multiple belonging. We will question how these narratives and experience challenge the dominant public representation of second generation youth living in Italy (with special focus on young people with Northern African origins) and the current tensions crossing the dominant construction of Italian national identity. We will look at how young people's experiences and narratives challenge a public discourse that fails to recognize the interconnectedness between the two shores of the Mediterranean. In fact, this public discourse continues representing the relation between Southern Europe and Northern Africa/Middle East in terms of crisis and within an "emergency frame", which consistently marginalises the living experience of ordinary people and the everyday life of the new generations.

Panel P003
Anthropologists between the Middle East and Europe: war, crises, refugees, migration and Islamophobia [AMCE]