Accepted Paper:

Mobilities at work: internal and transnational routes of migration in the Italian agricultural sector  

Author:

Gloria Carlini (University of Milano-Bicocca)

Paper short abstract:

What does it mean to be a transnational migrant in the agricultural sector, defined by internal mobility and seasonality. The experiences of a Ghanaian community of day-labourers in Northern Apulia will show how the meanings of internal, national and transnational are constantly reshaped in their narratives

Paper long abstract:

Until the 1970s, day-labour was "an Italian affair", characterized by well established routes of internal mobility, due to the seasonality of the agricultural work. Global economic and political changes, as well as new patterns of European and international migration, completely redefined the socio-anthropological landscape of the agricultural sector: Italian workers have been almost completely replaced by migrant workforce whose route of transnational migration intersect with already existing internal paths of mobility, traced by former Italian workers, and with new ones opened by new labour markets, transformed systems of labour recruitment, and the effects of national migration policies.

Starting from my fieldwork experience among a Ghanaian community of day-labourers in the countryside nearby Cerignola, northern Apulia, and using an ethnographic approach, I will trace their migratory biographies from below. According to the theoretical literature on migration, these workers are economic transnational migrants; but once arrived in Italy, they become internal migrants as well, following the seasonality of the agricultural work and the route of informal economy fostered by State migration control.

Using their personal experiences and meanings of mobility and immobility, I will try to inquire the blurred boundaries between "internal", "national" and "transnational", showing how transnational projects of mobility are continually re-shaped within the new local context of migration and in the everyday lives.

Panel P149
Embedding onward migration within Europe into long-distance migratory trajectories [Anthromob]