telephone: 0141 330 4090
- Gendered migration, migrant women
- Racism, ethnicity and gender
- Migration and racism in contemporary France and Italy
- Women and work; the sexual division of labour
- Migrant domestic workers and the international division of care work
- Gender relations and anti-immigration activism in contemporary Europe
- Migrant and native women’s activism in contemporary Italy
My doctoral research work was developed as a comparative ethnographic study of migrant women's and men's employment in the domestic service sector (maids, nannies and carers) in France and Italy. The research took into account different forms of organisation of work relations in this sector, by examining traditional domestic service but also care-givers and cleaners working in associations and companies. My goal was to explore the interplay of social relations of gender, class and racism in daily professional, training and recruitment practices, where ideas of "cultural difference" and "femininity" are embedded and negotiated. In doing so, this research addressed the international division of care work, by bringing together the restructuring of Welfare states and of the labour market, contemporary migrations and immigration policies, the changing patterns of the sexual division of domestic work and those of women' employment in European societies. My research explored the production of oppositional gendered and racialised identities within work relations, not only dealing with women’s experiences, but also with men's – as employers and domestic workers.
Following my PhD, I continued to work on the subject of migrant domestic labour by developing new perspectives in this area, in response to current scholarly debates: towards the end of the decade, some researchers expressed reservations about the narrow focus of existing studies on the international division of care work. Most of these concerned only female labour and female employers within domestic service, and examined the traditional household-based domestic service while neglecting actors, institutions and settings of care work within the public sphere. My work successfully broke with these restrictions so as to broaden our definitions of the international division of care by including the issues of men’s work and masculinities, and, further, by addressing migrants working as cleaners and care-givers within institutional and bureaucratised settings. I am currently completing a monographic book based on my comparative doctoral research, concerning migrant domestic workers and care-givers in Italy and France.
More recently, but building on this earlier research, I have started to investigate migrant women’s collective mobilisations and how feminist politics deals with the challenge of migration, with particular regard to the issue of domestic labour. Very few studies examine the impact of migration on feminist practices and the role of migrant activists in Italy. These studies tend to downplay the organisation of domestic work and its impact on migrant women’s political participation. Yet my research findings suggest that the organisation of domestic work heavily affects the political relationship between native and migrant women in Italy.
Further, I am currently working on women’s activism and gender relations in anti-immigration social movements in contemporary Europe. More specifically, my research focuses on the Northern League party (NL) in Italy and the National Front party (NF) in France.
Gender Relations in Anti-Immigration Social Movements in Europe
"Gendering Activism in Populist Radical Right Parties. A Comparative Study of Women’s and Men’s Participation in The Northern League (Italy) and The National Front (France)", European Research Council, Starting grant, euros 228,674 (2012-2014)
"Women's associations and representations of gender in the Northern League party: a study of documentary sources", British Academy£1,756 (Small grant award n. SG090376), 15 September to 13 November 2010
"Gendering the study of anti-immigration movements in Europe: women and men activists in the Northern League party in Italy", Adam Smith Research Foundation £1,200 (Seedcorn grant), 10 June to 10 July 2010
Migrant and Native Women's Activism in Contemporary Italy
An ethnographic study of migrant and native women's associations in Italy, British Academy small grant (£976, award n. SG110856), June-July 2012
‘Italian feminism and the challenge of international migration’, 10th June-10th July 2011, ethnographic study funded through Sociology Seedcorn funding, University of Glasgow.