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Women Migrants From East to West: Gender, Mobility and Belonging in Contemporary Europe

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Women Migrants From East to West

Gender, Mobility and Belonging in Contemporary Europe

Edited by Luisa Passerini, Dawn Lyon, Enrica Capussotti and Ioanna Laliotou

344 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-277-3 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (November 2007)

ISBN  978-1-84545-278-0 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (January 2010)

eISBN 978-0-85745-366-2 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


"…the result of an exciting oral history project…this rich edited volume offers a compelling look at the meanings of the feminization of intra-European migration…One of the primary strengths of the volume is its effective approach to the collection and transmission of oral histories." — Oral History


Based on the oral histories of eighty migrant women and thirty additional interviews with ‘native’ women in the ‘receiving’ countries, this volume documents the contemporary phenomenon of the feminisation of migration through an exploration of the lives of women, who have moved from Bulgaria and Hungary to Italy and the Netherlands. It assumes migrants to be active subjects, creating possibilities and taking decisions in their own lives, as well as being subject to legal and political regulation, and the book analyses the new forms of subjectivity that come about through mobility.

Part I is a largely conceptual exploration of subjectivity, mobility and gender in Europe. The chapters in Part II focus on love, work, home, communication, and food, themes which emerged from the migrant women’s accounts. In Part III, based on the interviews with ‘native’ women – employers, friends, or in associations relevant to migrant women – the chapters analyse their representations of migrants, and the book goes on to explore forms of intersubjectivity between European women of different cultural origins. A major contribution of this book is to consider how the movement of people across Europe is changing the cultural and social landscape with implications for how we think about what Europe means.

Cover image: Painting by Carla Accardi. Reproduced with the kind permission of Luca Barsi of the Galleria Accademia, Via Accademia Albertina 3/e, 10123 Torino.

Luisa Passerini was Professor of Cultural History at the University of Turin, and is currently External Professor at the European University Institute, Florence, and Visiting Professor in the Oral History Master Program, Columbia University, New York.

Dawn Lyon is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Kent, UK, and has published in the field of gender, work and employment in comparative perspective.

Enrica Capussotti is Research Fellow in the Department of History, University of Siena, Italy, and is author of Gioventù perduta. Gli anni cinquanta dei giovani e del cinema in Italia (Florence: Giunti, 2004).

Ioanna Laliotou is Assistant Professor in Contemporary History, University of Thessaly, Greece, and is author of Transatlantic Subjects: Acts of Migration and Culture of Transnationalism between Europe and America (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2004).

Subject: Refugee & Migration Studies Gender Studies General Mobility Studies 20th Century History
Area: Europe Central/Eastern Europe


Editors’ Introduction
List of Tables – Table 1
Interviews by Country


Chapter 1. On Becoming Europeans
Rosi Braidotti

Chapter 2. “I want to see the world”: Mobility and Subjectivity in the European Context
Ioanna Laliotou

Chapter 3. Transformations of Legal Subjectivity in Europe: From the Subjection of Women to Privileged Subjects
Hanne Petersen

Intermezzo: ‘A dance through Life’: Narratives of Migrant Women
Nadejda Alexandrova and Anna Hortobagyi


Chapter 4. Imaginary Geographies: Border-places and ‘Home’ in the Narratives of Migrant Women
Nadejda Alexandrova and Dawn Lyon

Chapter 5. ‘My hobby is people’: Migration and Communication in the Light of Late Totalitarianism
Miglena Nikolchina

Chapter 6. Migrant Women in Work
Enrica Capussotti, Ioanna Laliotou and Dawn Lyon

Chapter 7. The topos of Love in the Life-stories of Migrant Women
Nadejda Alexandrova

Chapter 8. Food-talk: Markers of Identity and Imaginary Belongings Andrea Petö Relationships in the making: Accounts of native women
Enrica Capussotti and Esther Vonk


Chapter 9. Migration, Integration and Emancipation: Women’s Positioning in the Debate in the Netherlands
Esther Vonk

Chapter 10. Modernity versus Backwardness: Italian Women’s Perceptions of Self and Other
Enrica Capussotti

Chapter 11. Moral and Cultural Boundaries in Representations of Migrants: Italy and the Netherlands in Comparative Perspective Dawn Lyon

Chapter 12. Changing Matrimonial Law in the Image of Immigration Law
Inger Marie Conradsen and Annette Kronborg

Intermezzo. In transit: Space, People, Identities
Andrea Petö

Conclusions: Gender, Subjectivity, Europe: A Constellation for the Future
Luisa Passerini

Appendix I: Summary of individual interviewees
Appendix II: Summary of interviewees’ characteristics by nationality

Notes on Contributors

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