Italia: La chiusura della Casa dell’Emigrante come spunto riflessione sui rientri degli emigrati italiani
In the literature on migration, as well as in social policies regarding this phenomenon, the situation of returning emigrants receives scant attention. This essay establishes an intricate connection between attitudes and policies that prevail in a country regarding emigration and those concerning immigration. The case of Italy provides a prime example for this as it once was a classical country of emigration, only to turn, in recent decades, into a country that appears highly attractive (and relatively accessible) to immigrants. The essay traces the pervasive ambiguity that characterizes this country’s attitudes towards emigration from the beginning of mass emigration shortly after the unification of Italy in 1868 to the emigration policies of the fascist regime of Mussolini and the post-World War II waves of emigration right through to the corresponding ambiguity concerning the status of immigrants in contemporary society, including the indifferent treatment of returning Italian emigrants who constitute a considerable numerical phenomenon.