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Local identities, identification and incorporation of Albanian immigrants in Florence

  • Zana Vathi (a1)

In this paper, the concepts of city as context, locality and incorporation are applied to the case of Albanian immigrants in Florence. To date, most research on the incorporation of immigrants and its relationship to space is based on the city or the inter-relations between the nation-state and city as contexts where incorporation takes place. The findings of this study show that the relationship between locality and the incorporation of immigrants is multi-dimensional. First, although findings support the role of the urban ethos in immigrants' incorporation, the city is not a homogeneous entity and should not be equated with locality where immigrants' incorporation is concerned. The importance of locality within the city is highlighted by the role played by the qualities of space and aesthetics in immigrants' incorporation and identification. Also, more attention should be paid to intergenerational perceptions of space, as the data show that different generations have different ‘cognitive geographies’ and varying perceptions of space and appreciations of cosmopolitanism, seen here in relation to locality. These aspects should be seen in relation to the historical, structural and cultural particularities of the city as a key context of incorporation, without ignoring the national-level politics of immigration and integration.

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Modern Italy
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