Franco Ramella

Sulla diversità della famiglia immigrata. Note intorno a un dibattito americano sul vantaggio scolastico delle ragazze di seconda generazione

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Recent studies suggest that the greater educational achievement of second generation girls relative to boys in America rests on the maintenance of traditional gender roles in families coming from more patriarchal societies. Children of internal migration from southern Italy during the Sixties show a quite similar pattern. To explain how child-rearing practices result in a gender gap in educational attainment, this essay proposes a different perspective. Instead of focusing on cultural traditions migrant families should have brought with them, it concentrates on social conditions created by migration in urban neighborhoods and analyzes the consequences of migration process in network terms. Changing city affects migrants' social networks, which need to be rebuilt in the new place because many individual ties drop away in the move. It is in this context that choices of migrant parents become significant. Geographical mobility has a strong impact on family and kinship ties and on domestic economy. The migrant family is different, but its specificity has been under-investigated by historians.

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