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The diversity continuum: Blurring the boundaries between internal and external others among Italian children of migrants

journal contribution
posted on 28.01.2022, 14:55 by Marco AntonsichMarco Antonsich
In recent years, studies on nations and nationalism have experienced a rapid growth prompted by the so-called ‘new nationalism’, which has been interpreted, in the Western world, as the product of white majorities and their anxiety towards a demographic change caused by international migration. This article switches focus and explores the impact of demographic change on the nation from the perspective of its non-white population. Using Italy as a case study, the article relies on the voices and online comments of young Italian adults with foreign backgrounds who, like their parents, are often perceived by the white nationalist rhetoric as in need of integration or assimilation. Data rely on 38 individual semi-structured interviews with representatives of ‘second generation’ associations (ReteG2, Associna, Giovani Musulmani d’Italia and Yallaitalia), as well as forums, blogs and videos posted on the webpages of these associations since their creation until June 2015. The article reveals how the existence of an internal other (the Southerner) is discursively mobilised by these young adults to question the ethno-racial unity of the nation and to draw a diversity continuum between their ascribed foreignness and the internal other. This discursive move allows children of migrants to justify their national belonging and to rewrite the nation in relation rather than in opposition to alterity. The relevance of these findings is discussed in terms of the re-making of the nation in times of demographic change and the decline of white majorities.

Funding

European Commission under Grant PCIG13-GA-2013-618470

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Political Geography

Volume

96

Publisher

Elsevier

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Elsevier

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Political Geography and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2022.102602.

Acceptance date

27/01/2022

Publication date

2022-02-02

Copyright date

2022

ISSN

0962-6298

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Marco Antonsich. Deposit date: 28 January 2022

Article number

102602