Negotiation of Identity in Transnational Contexts. The Case of Romanian Temporary Workers in Italy
This paper1 looks at migrants’ negotiation of identity in transnational contexts. Intra-EU migration has brought about changes in the nature and significance of citizenship, social relations and symbolic ties in communities. The transnational interconnectivity between homeland communities and the diaspora poses a challenge to discourses of national belonging. Under current deterritorialized experiences and technological advances, the simultaneous incorporation of migrants within and across national entities sees the advent of plural representations of identity and national societies. In our analysis of interviews carried with Romanians working in Italy we started from the assumption that temporary workforce migration is a specific type of transnational context, which generates new cultural practices and requires migrants to define ways of belonging towards the host and home countries and to negotiate identitarian attributes. Our hypothesis is that in this transnational context the migrants do not employ attributes of essentialist identity in routine discourses about themselves, but rather strategically mobilize these attributes in order to justify the dynamics of belonging to home or host countries.
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