London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

The Italian community in Scotland and the question of European citizenship within school education

Author(s) Chistolini, S.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2012  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell (eds.) Creating Communities: Local, National and Global  
Age group -  
The aim of this study is to explore Italian emigration to Scotland from the perspective of the narrative reports of women who have run the matriarchal community over the last 30 years (B. Boyd Caroli, R. F. Harney, L. F. Tomasi 1978). Scientific literature shows how women have continued traditions in the family and how they are also the source of change. Theoretical assumptions consider that, in our societies, cultural processes are not only rooted in the minds and experiences that reproduced them over time, but are also something new, resulting from individual expectations and educational targets (R. Lynd, H. Merrell Lynd 1929 and 1937; N. K. Denzin 1970; J. Bruner 1996; J. Lynch 1992). The educational role of women gives rise to a crucial question in the context of migration, in the sense that they give meanings to the concept of European citizenship by educating children to be prepared for the knowledge-society. The qualitative longitudinal research presented in this paper reveals how Italo-Scottish families are composed of events from the past, marked by the migratory process, and from the present, a product of a progressive socio-cultural adaptation starting from childhood and school education. The face-to-face interviews led us to understand why Italo-Scottish women feel the responsibility of handing down a tangible sign of their contribution towards defining universal human dignity in the history of both Italy and Scotland. If the previous experience of migration anticipated the birth of multicultural society and globalisation, the new conditions of life challenge families of Italian origin living in Scotland, mainly in Edinburgh, to educate children and young people to becoming citizens of Europe. Keywords: Italian community, migration, Scotland, active citizenship, school education

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