Feminist Desires, Multi-culturalist Dilemmas: Migrant Women’s Self-organizing in Milan

  • Laura Menin
Part of the International Perspectives on Migration book series (IPMI, volume 1)


By and large, the experience of migration has been conceived historically as an opportunity for social improvement, emancipation and the upward mobility of people and individuals. In particular, the increasing participation of women in global mobility has often been theorized in terms of broader possibilities for agency and empowerment. Drawn upon ethnographic research, this chapter explores the ways in which two groups of migrant women from different countries have tried to overcome the difficulties faced over their paths of integration in the city of Milan (Italy). Notwithstanding the promises and the expectations of socio-economical improvement though migration, they have found themselves involved in multiple hegemonic discourses and micro-structures of power that shape their actual possibility of personal agency in the Italian society. Starting from their experiences, the chapter addresses a broader reflection on the challenges that the presence of migrant women in Italy and their forms of activism have been posing to feminism over the last four decades. Specifically, it reflects on both the possibilities and the ‘cultural dilemmas’ that might emerge from a critical encounter between the lived experiences and discourses of migrant women and a cross-cultural feminist project.


Migrant Woman Italian Society Feminist Movement Undocumented Migrant Domestic Servant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Anthropology of Migration and TransnationalismUniversity of Milano-BicoccaMilanItaly

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