Just a Matter of Time? The Ways Children of Immigrants Become Similar (or Not) to Italians

Giuseppe Gabrielli, Università degli Studi di Bari
Anna Paterno, Università degli Studi di Bari
Gianpiero Dalla Zuanna, University of Padua

We study similarities between children of foreign parents and those of Italian parents using data from the Itagen2, a survey of a large sample of students aged 11-13 (10,000 Italians and 10,000 foreigners) enrolled in Italian junior high schools in 2006. We measure three different aspects of similarity (linguistic abilities, friendship with peers, and sense of belonging in Italy) and investigate the determinants of similarity using multivariate techniques. Results underline the significant relation between, on the one hand, similarity, and, on the other hand, age at immigration and the family’s socio-economic condition. We also observe considerable differences by country of origin. Generally speaking, our results suggest that the Italian social context is favourable to a rapid assimilation on the part of children of foreign origin to the tastes and ideals of young Italians, although there remain important differences linked above all to family conditions, country of origin, and scholastic performance.

  See paper

Presented in Session 139: New Migrants in Europe