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Borders, Mobilities and Migrations

Perspectives from the Mediterranean, 19–21st Century


Edited By Lisa Anteby-Yemini, Virginie Baby-Collin and Sylvie Mazzella

This book explores changes in the social, economic and political processes underpinning the mechanisms for the management of human mobility and cohabitation in the Mediterranean region, while suggesting comparisons with the situation in the Americas.
It considers the public policies that introduce such mechanisms at state, region or city level, and also explores the way that populations adapt to, breach or find ways of working around these systems.
The volume also attempts to evaluate the extent to which the reactions of the populations concerned can influence such systems. Relying on a historical perspective and covering a broad period of time from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, this book questions the increasing influence of processes born out of globalization upon present readjustments of mobility and territorial configurations.
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“Invisibility” and Memory. Italian Immigration in France During the Second Half of the 20th Century (Stéphane Mourlane, Céline Regnard)


← 266 | 267 → “Invisibility” and Memory

Italian Immigration in France During the Second Half of the 20th Century


There is a long history of Italian immigration in France. Since the Middle Ages, Italians have continually crossed the Alps, often in search of seasonal agricultural work or commercial opportunities in the South (Corti and Sanfillipo, 2009). With a constant arrival of migrants, frontier regions (Alpine slopes and the South-East) became traditional settlement areas for Italians migrants. After the 19th century’s Industrial Revolution, the number of immigrants rose and became more substantial for two major reasons: substantial differences in population growth and in business development opportunities between the two countries. During this period, waves of migrants settled not only in major cities but also in the eastern part of the country, thus reinforcing the importance of these frontier regions.

Italian migrants settled mainly in the South-East, Paris and the North East, and in particular Lorraine where, by 2004, they had become the largest group of foreigners (Galloro, 2007). Two factors – the cities and closeness to the frontier – led to their settlement in regions where industrial jobs were available from the late 19th century onwards.

The arrival of migrants continued for more than a century until the early 1960s, with three distinct phases (Bevilacqua et al., 2002).

The first phase was known in Italy as “the great emigration”, beginning in the late 19th century and lasting...

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