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Iscrizione n.2165 - 13.02.2009 - Registro Stampa Tribunale di Padova

Direttore Responsabile: Giulia Golo

Cross-cutting social circle configurations in the lives of the sons and daughters of mixed parentage

TitleCross-cutting social circle configurations in the lives of the sons and daughters of mixed parentage
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsGilardoni G
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date PublishedFebruary 2010
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
KeywordsCross-cutting social circles, Gender, Mixed parentage, social capital, Social space

This article examines the data from research on the integration of the new generations in Italy, focusing on the children of mixed parentage. Analysis of a sample of 17,225 pre-adolescents (aged 11 to 14), of whom 13,301 were Italians, 2,921 foreigners and 1,003 children of mixed couples, shows that, although these last have in many cases features which put them midway between Italians and foreigners, in some respects they also differ markedly from both the other groups. The particular position assumed by children of mixed parentage in the social space is commented on by resuming Simmel’s thought on social circles and their possible intersections (crosscutting social circles). The data analysis reveals a greater cross-cultural propensity among the new generations than among previous ones: Italian pre-adolescents growing up in a multi-ethnic society are more open to, and willing to accept, the challenge of cultural diversity than are their parents. Amongst all the pre-adolescents interviewed, the children of mixed couples were those most disposed to form intercultural relations.