Survival strategies in a wealthy city of the Northern Italy

6 décembre 2009

Survival strategies in a wealthy city of the Northern Italy : the case of Milan, by Alberta Andreotti Ricercatrice, sociologue RTN URBeurope

1 – In the last three decades, the international literature has given considerable attention to
the question of social exclusion, social polarisation and spatial segregation. Beyond all
these questions there are a number of socio-economic transformations, occurring in all
Western countries, which affect the demographic sphere, the labour market, the welfare
2 –  All these changes have progressively contributed to weaken the mechanisms of
social integration created in the “glorious thirties” and create tensions which become
particularly evident in the urban context. The reflections of these tensions have been
widely discussed getting the start from the famous Wilson’s book ‘The truly
disadvantaged’ (1987) where one of the thesis put forward by the author is that living in
a poor neighbourhood leads to social isolation and reinforces the condition of poverty
(neighbourhood effect). European scholars, due to the increase of poverty rates in
almost all European large cities, and their relative concentration in specific council
estates, put greater attention on this issue, and multiplied the empirical researches
discussing the city segregation and the survival strategies of individuals and/or
households in respect to the neighbourhood of residence, highlighting the great
differences with the American situation. These researches focussing on the individual
level of analysis
3 – Explore the every day life strategies people in condition of economic
need (mainly unemployed, single mothers, ethnic minorities…) put into practice, that is,
the analysis of the flow of information and aid across household and extra-households
boundaries, together with the analysis of the resources offered by the local context in
terms of job opportunities and available services. By this way, it is possible to consider
at the same time the individual level and the context effects. This article si inserisce in
this reserach tradition .

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