Call for Papers: ESSHC panel on Formal and Informal Networks of Migrant Women and Men

CFP for a panel at the European Social Science History Conference (ESSHC)

Belfast, 4-7 April 2018   

Formal and informal networks of migrant women and men in settlement process

(14th-19th centuries)

Organiser: Beatrice Zucca Micheletto, GRHIS – University of Rouen (France)

This panel aims to study settlement patterns of migrants, according to a gendered approach. Since the pioneering work by Morokvasic (1984) research has shown that women participated in migrations not only as followers of their husbands, fathers or brothers but also as independent actors. At the same time, a new challenge came from the recent Italian historiography: according to some scholars (Quaderni Storici 2001; Arru, Ramella 2003; Arru, Caglioti, Ramella 2008) most of the works on the topic, influenced by the notion of “migratory chain”, took into account exclusively migrants who, since they arrival, were inserted in national or regional networks, with the consequence that their alleged “new” social network was composed almost exclusively by compatriots. On the contrary, these Italian scholars pointed out the importance of individual migration paths, and studied primarily the social relationships that people were able to build up in the new context, rather than emphasise the pre-existent national or regional ties. 

Following this methodological approach, the present panel aims to bring together scholars working on migration and settlement dynamics, by focusing on the extension and quality of relationships that newcomers could develop in the new environment and by highlighting differences between men and women. In addition it aims to investigate how these ties influenced, successfully or not, their settlement process: the daily life, the research of a job or a house, the access to credit networks, to poor relief or to other urban resources etc… We invite authors working on the history of the family, social and economic history, labour history to submit papers on the topic. Two points will be at the core of our analysis.

  1. Firstly, papers should clarify the features of the migrations of women and men and inquire into their arrival and integration process: where and how they did set up in the new context, what kind of social and economic resources were able to mobilise, whether familial or kinship ties, if they did make use of specific networks composed by peers (i.e. female/male networks, etc..), or if they were able to count on local institutions (i.e. guilds or urban groups etc…), or to take advantage of charitable institutions or religious associations.
  1. Second, research should inquire into the consequences of these dynamics on the life of newcomers. Moreover, it should point out differences between norms and practices and ask if the new context and the opportunities it offered, revealing some spaces for action for migrants, call into question the most popular cultural and ideological models of femininity and masculinity proposed at that time by the society, the institutions, the church etc…

Please send a short abstract (500 words max) by April the 8th 2017 to :  beatrice.zucca@gmail.com

We will inform you about the result of the panel selection after May the 1st (deadline for submission through the ESSHC website).

For further information about the European Social Science History Conference please visit : https://esshc.socialhistory.org

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