ADIR - L'altro diritto

ISSN 1827-0565

Strangers in town
Legal and sociological aspects of foreign communities integration in Arezzo

Marco Poledrini, 2001


This research tries to unveil what happens when a foreign community tries to adjust itself to the life and rhythms of a small Italian town, with a low degree of stratification and a strong sense of the community. In this work immigration is not the only object of analysis. Immigration itself becomes an excuse to analyse the laws and mechanisms that regulate the urban environment. The adopted approach is the 'ecological' one, developed by the sociologists of the Chicago University during the twenties, and that considers cities as natural entities, with their laws and regularities.

The first three chapters of the research examine the legal status of the immigrant, according both with the European and Italian laws. The third chapter in particular examines attentively the features and the limits of the Italian immigration law n. 40\98. The forth chapter discusses the relationship between immigration and citizenship rights, examining the legislation of some European countries on this issue.

The sociological portion of the research begins in the fifth chapter, with an analysis of the data on immigration both in Tuscany and in Arezzo. The sixth, and probably the most representative chapter of the research, discusses the effects of the immigrants presence in the town of Arezzo. In particular the research discusses the way in which the immigrants made contact with the fabric of the city and the kind of relationships established between new and old citizens.

The seventh chapter examines the associations in town, and is divided into two parts. The first one describes the associations that in Arezzo deal with the immigrants, the kind of services they provide and the role they eventually have in the integration process. The second part of the chapter presents the immigrants associations, and in particular the community associations, trying to describe their relationship with the social and institutional structures of the Arezzo community.