Seeking Better Life Chances by Crossing Borders: The Existential Paradox and Strategic Use of Italian Citizenship by Migrant Women

  • Rosa Gatti University of Naples Federico II

Abstract

Based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork carried out in Naples (Italy) in the period 2014 to 2020, this article focuses on the rearticulation of the migration–citizenship nexus through a gender perspective. The article questions how migrant women exercise their agency despite the structural constraints that prevent their full inclusion and how they are able to cross and transgress the boundaries of citizenship and national belonging in search of better life opportunities. The data analyzed show the existential paradox linked to the migration–citizenship nexus that affects the lives of migrant women in Italy and their use of citizenship as a strategy to react to a blocked destiny, to follow one’s aspirations, and to rebalance gender relations. The article refines an integrated approach that considers the relationship between agency, aspiration, and capability as a broader theoretical framework within which to jointly study the dynamics of gender, migration, and citizenship as closely related, beyond the boundaries of fixed and opposite categories.

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Published
2022-12-20
How to Cite
Gatti, R. (2022). Seeking Better Life Chances by Crossing Borders: The Existential Paradox and Strategic Use of Italian Citizenship by Migrant Women. Borders in Globalization Review, 4(1), 53-66. https://doi.org/10.18357/bigr41202220554
Section
Articles