Dissertation Abstracts

Migration Governance and Labor Market of Immigrants in Sicily. The Case Study of the Cara of Mineo

Author: Castronovo, Antonella Elisa , antoeli@hotmail.it
Department: Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche
University: University of Pisa, Italy
Supervisor: Andrea Borghini
Year of completion: 2015
Language of dissertation: Italian

Keywords: Migration , Labor Market , Sicily , Cara di Mineo
Areas of Research: Migration , Labor Movements , Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations


The thesis offers a reflection on the consequences that the migration governance has been having on employment dynamics of migrants. Even though it has reserved attention to the Italian and international context, the analytical focus shifts in Sicily. Effectively, the Island is the extreme southern edge of the “Fortress Europe” and represents the vantage point in order to analyze the major social and economic implications of national and European migration policies. The empirical research is on the Cara (Centro di Accoglienza per Richiedenti Asilo) of Mineo that, since 2011, has represented one of the most important place to analyse the link between Italian migration policies, the economic and political dynamics associated with the governance of forced migration and the social practices of subjects. Specifically, through the outputs of the field research conducted from September 2014 to March 2015, the thesis wants to explain how asylum seekers of Cara of Mineo have recruited in the local agricultural sector. The analysis is supported by the most important results of the semistructured interviews and the informal conversation with ninety-two qualified actors (asylum seekers; immigrants workers employed in the agricultural sector; union officials of Cisl and Cgil; priest; local farmers, local farm hands; NGO exponents and jurists engaged within the legal protection of immigrants’ rights; local and national political actors; journalists devoted to the issue of migration in Sicily; directors in charge of the administration the Cara of Mineo; social workers employed within the Cara; local people residing in the city of Mineo), selected on the basis of what in literature is called “theoretical sampling” (Tarozzi 2012). The study also devotes attention to the outputs of the ethnographic observation of the social and cultural context, in order to foster a better understanding of the relationship between the status of migration, the social networks and the work placement of migrants within the Sicilian labour market.
The first aim of the analysis is to describe the living and working conditions of foreign citizens in this area, with a specific focus on the historical paths that characterize the inclusion of immigrants in the local agricultural sector. The second goal is to put in light the subjective reasons why immigrants residing inside of the reception center of Mineo are used to go to work in the countryside of Calatino area for a few euro. Consequently, the third goal is to explain how the informal and irregular labour of asylum seekers has modified both the forms of coexistence between natives and immigrants and the balance between demand and supply of agricultural labour market. Finally, the thesis wants to underline how the presence of the biggest reception center for asylum seeker in Europe within the small city of Mineo has produced a significant impact on the social, political and economic organization of the municipalities of Calatino area.