Integration and second generation of immigrants in Italy: an empirical analysis according to the social network perspective

Antonella Guarneri, Università La Sapienza-Roma
Luisa Natale, Università di Cassino
Giulia Rivellini, Università Cattolica, Milan
Maura Simone, Università di Roma "La Sapienza"

The integration of immigrants’ children is a phenomenon of increasing importance in Italy as in other new receiving countries. In particular, state-funded schools attended by Italians and foreign students represent a privileged observatory to analyse relationship patterns. Thanks to school the young immigrants may play the role of “integration vehicles” transferring to their ethnic communities new cultural and social models and at the same time offering to natives important opportunities for enrichment. This study focuses on the middle schools (students aged 11-14 years) based on a field survey carried out in 2005/2006 in several Italian regions. The objective is to measure the complete network for two sets of actors (Italian and students with at least a parent born outside Italy). The comparison will be between Lombardy and Latium datasets and experiences. The traditional theoretical framework appears rather unsatisfactory to catch the trends of a process that today shows new and peculiar characteristics. Describing the different integration’s steps and models deriving from the students experience outside school, the analysis of students’ social network in their class seems to be essential. In order to quantify the integration level in the school classes it will be helpful to use some measures of “social network analysis” highlighting different patterns of ties. Following this approach, we will utilize a p* model to estimate density, reciprocity, popularity of alter and activity of alter parameters overall the networks/classes using StOCNET, an open software system for advanced statistical analysis of social networks. Furthermore, the methodological tool of “ten name generator” allows to go more in depth studying three different kinds of relationship: emotive, instrumental and social support. Finally, the core questionnaire allows to have information about many attributes of the actors, ranging from their household composition to their opinions and future intentions.

Presented in Poster Session 1