Can irregular migrants be citizens? Irregular migrants are usually not seen as members of the political community in the land of arrival, let alone as citizens. In practice, however, their irregular status does not preclude them from becoming part of a community. Irregular migrants live, work and participate in society, construct a variety of relations with citizens, and even engage in forms of political action. If we broaden our understanding of citizenship and then look at this empirically, the situation of irregular migrants reveals how many aspects of citizenship can also be attained in the absence of formal recognition or citizenship. This ethnographic study examines two social movements of irregular migrants and their struggle for citizenship, in Amsterdam and in Turin, respectively. The research project shows how irregular migrants construct citizenship from below, in the absence of formal recognition from above. These empirical findings are the basis for a reflection on the debate in critical citizenship studies. Yet, instead of focusing on the outright political actions of irregular migrants, it analyses claims to citizenship from the perspective of the everyday. By so doing we see how the prevailing notions of citizenship of irregular migrants in critical citizenship studies present both an overly optimistic and an over-politicised image of their citizenship struggle. This limits the understanding of the claims to citizenship of irregular migrants, as it does not account for their deep desire to not be political. This study makes irregular migrants’ desire for a normal life apparent and argues for the importance of examining this construction of normality, to look at the ‘life of a citizen’, the (normal) life which citizenship enables.

CLAIMING TO BE NORMAL. THE STRUGGLE FOR CITIZENSHIP OF IRREGULAR MIGRANTS IN AMSTERDAM AND TURIN / M.h.j. Hajer ; tutor: M. Ambrosini ; tutors non afferenti: W.G.J. Duyvendak, C. Bröer. - : . Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali e Politiche, 2021 Nov 12. ((31. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2018.

CLAIMING TO BE NORMAL. THE STRUGGLE FOR CITIZENSHIP OF IRREGULAR MIGRANTS IN AMSTERDAM AND TURIN

M.H.J. Hajer
2021-11-12

Abstract

Can irregular migrants be citizens? Irregular migrants are usually not seen as members of the political community in the land of arrival, let alone as citizens. In practice, however, their irregular status does not preclude them from becoming part of a community. Irregular migrants live, work and participate in society, construct a variety of relations with citizens, and even engage in forms of political action. If we broaden our understanding of citizenship and then look at this empirically, the situation of irregular migrants reveals how many aspects of citizenship can also be attained in the absence of formal recognition or citizenship. This ethnographic study examines two social movements of irregular migrants and their struggle for citizenship, in Amsterdam and in Turin, respectively. The research project shows how irregular migrants construct citizenship from below, in the absence of formal recognition from above. These empirical findings are the basis for a reflection on the debate in critical citizenship studies. Yet, instead of focusing on the outright political actions of irregular migrants, it analyses claims to citizenship from the perspective of the everyday. By so doing we see how the prevailing notions of citizenship of irregular migrants in critical citizenship studies present both an overly optimistic and an over-politicised image of their citizenship struggle. This limits the understanding of the claims to citizenship of irregular migrants, as it does not account for their deep desire to not be political. This study makes irregular migrants’ desire for a normal life apparent and argues for the importance of examining this construction of normality, to look at the ‘life of a citizen’, the (normal) life which citizenship enables.
AMBROSINI, MAURIZIO
Settore SPS/07 - Sociologia Generale
CLAIMING TO BE NORMAL. THE STRUGGLE FOR CITIZENSHIP OF IRREGULAR MIGRANTS IN AMSTERDAM AND TURIN / M.h.j. Hajer ; tutor: M. Ambrosini ; tutors non afferenti: W.G.J. Duyvendak, C. Bröer. - : . Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali e Politiche, 2021 Nov 12. ((31. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2018.
Doctoral Thesis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/875818
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