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Title: Boundary-making in an immigrant social space : Albanian-Italian and Albanian-Romanian couples in Italy
Author: Bezzini, Rachele
ISNI:       0000 0004 7226 6019
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis focuses on Albanian-Italian and Albanian-Romanian couples in Italy. Through application of the boundary-making framework to integration and intermarriage, this study looks at the processes by which partners in mixed unions deal with socially constructed boundaries inside and outside the couple and family sphere. The thesis is based on multiple qualitative methods, but primarily on in-depth interviews with 61 Albanian-Italian/Romanian couples in Italy. These research-participant couples differ in terms of marital and family status, place of origin and settlement, education and occupation. The core sample is composed of an Albanian in-between generation, now in their 30s, who emigrated during adolescence for various reasons (asylum, family reunification, healthcare, study, work). Thence, I moved towards an Italian or a Romanian partner of these primary participants. The original contribution of my study is both empirical and theoretical. From an empirical point of view, it explores the topic of intermarriage, which has not been previously examined in the existing literatures on the Albanian and Romanian migrations and is still understudied in Italy. In addition to this, the study specifically takes into account the combination of minority-majority (Albanian-Italian) and minority-minority (Albanian-Romanian) partnerships and marriages, whose conjoint analysis has been largely absent in intermarriage research. From a theoretical point of view, my research shows instead the importance of adopting a relational approach in migration studies through the inclusion of a plurality of social actors within the research design. In fact, while intermarriage in immigrant societies is usually interpreted as an indicator/agent of integration and through the essentialisation of the category of culture, my thesis proposes a novel understanding of intermarriage. I view intermarriage as a site of integration, and I see integration as a multi-way process of boundary change, which involves the national majority as well as multiple immigrant minorities interacting with and identifying each other in the construction of a common social space.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HQ0630 Italy ; HQ1031 Mixed marriages. Intermarriage. Interfaith marriage ; JV8132 Immigration