The most studied mobility flows from southern Europe today are those towards other highly developed areas in the world, especially northern Europe. We do not know very much about those flows directed toward other southern European countries. The main aims of this paper are to contribute to a better understanding of these processes and to find common features between them, discussing – in a comparative perspective – some research findings related to Italians living in Athens (Greece) and Valencia (Spain). These studies have been carried out with a qualitative method combining participatory observation in virtual and real Italian communities with in-depth interviews. The main result of the comparison is that both migration flows go beyond economic mobility from Southern Europe, predominantly caused by a shortage of good jobs. Other motivations seem to be at stake in these pathways of mobility. Factors attracting Italians to these two cities, such as the cost of living, the quality of services, less taxes, the safety of public spaces, among others, are related with the better quality of life as opposed to the one related to the area of origin. Those factors do not replace the relevance of economic migration motives, but certainly put forward the complexity of these emerging intra-southern European countries migration flows, underlining the multidimensional factors pushing them.

In search of a good life in a southern European country: The new Italian migration to Athens and Valencia

Domenico Maddaloni
2022-01-01

Abstract

The most studied mobility flows from southern Europe today are those towards other highly developed areas in the world, especially northern Europe. We do not know very much about those flows directed toward other southern European countries. The main aims of this paper are to contribute to a better understanding of these processes and to find common features between them, discussing – in a comparative perspective – some research findings related to Italians living in Athens (Greece) and Valencia (Spain). These studies have been carried out with a qualitative method combining participatory observation in virtual and real Italian communities with in-depth interviews. The main result of the comparison is that both migration flows go beyond economic mobility from Southern Europe, predominantly caused by a shortage of good jobs. Other motivations seem to be at stake in these pathways of mobility. Factors attracting Italians to these two cities, such as the cost of living, the quality of services, less taxes, the safety of public spaces, among others, are related with the better quality of life as opposed to the one related to the area of origin. Those factors do not replace the relevance of economic migration motives, but certainly put forward the complexity of these emerging intra-southern European countries migration flows, underlining the multidimensional factors pushing them.
Los flujos de movilidad del sur de Europa más estudiados en la actualidad son los que se dirigen a otras zonas altamente desarrolladas del mundo, especialmente al norte de Europa. No sabemos mucho sobre los flujos dirigidos hacia otros países del sur de Europa. Los principales objetivos de este trabajo son contribuir a una mejor comprensión de estos procesos y encontrar rasgos comunes entre ellos, discutiendo -en una perspectiva comparativa- algunos resultados de dos investigaciones realizadas sobre italianos residentes en Atenas (Grecia) y Valencia (España). Estos estudios se han llevado a cabo con un método cualitativo que mezcla las técnicas de observación participativa en comunidades italianas virtuales y reales y entrevistas en profundidad. El principal resultado de la comparación es que ambos flujos migratorios van más allá de la movilidad económica desde el sur de Europa, causada predominantemente por la escasez de buenos empleos. Otros motivos parecen estar en juego en estas vías de movilidad. Los factores que atraen a los italianos a estas dos ciudades, como el coste de la vida, la calidad de los servicios, los menores impuestos, la seguridad de los espacios públicos, entre otros, están relacionados con la mejor calidad de vida en comparación con la de la zona de origen. Estos factores no sustituyen la relevancia de los motivos de la migración económica, pero ciertamente ponen de manifiesto la complejidad de estos flujos migratorios emergentes entre países del sur de Europa, subrayando los factores multidimensionales que los empujan.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4810452
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