From migrations to new mobilities in the European Union transnational space. Italians in Berlin between anomie and multi-situated identity

Daniele Valisena, University of Modena, IT

 “Une ville transhumante, ou metaphorique, s’insinue ainsi dans le texte clair de la ville planifiée et lisible”[1]. This statement perfectly enlightens the relationship between urban space and new forms of mobility in the European Union. Havens of many transnational patterns: here’s what globalized world cities[2] are turned in.

The 2008 crisis cut the bond that tied a generation of high skilled workers and globalized multicultural citizens[3] to their homeland, giving them the opportunity - or the necessity - to leave their countries. Paraphrasing Sayad[4], they suffer a double absence: they have been left behind by their States welfare and work policies and they experience a multiple social identity, that doesn’t lie within a Nation State or neither in an assimilation or integration process. World cities are gates of circular life and multi-situated identity[5] patterns opened by English proficiency, work and educational skills, and common cultural belonging. From a socio-historical perspective, Italians in Berlin are the perfect case study to reconstruct new mobility patterns and new mobile agency in the EU[6]. The traditional chain migration, diaspora and push and pull models can’t explain the nature of these new identity patterns, vivified by web social networks and new mobility possibilities[7].

Where do the roots of new mobiles lie? Which social markers do define their life patterns? Is this transnational generation the prototype of the future a--‐national European citizenship? Otherwise, do this fluid, glocal and rootles generation experience a large anomie that put under question the inner migration and integration model of the EU?


[1] De Certeau (1990) p. 142

[2] Cfr. Taylor (2001) ; (2004)

[3] Smith, Favel (2006) ; Brandi (2001)

[4] Sayad (1999)

[5] Sassen (2008); Castels (2005)

[6] Del Pra’ (2006)

[7] Netnography, oral sources and interdisciplinary approach are more and more important to analyze “communities of sentiments” (Appadurai 1996) in migration studies.

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