Archivio mensile:Ottobre 2022

44. Towards a racialization of European space? Exploitation and resistance in agricultural economies.

Jacopo Anderlini (University of Genoa), Enrico Fravega (University of Genoa), Daniela Giudici (University of Trento)

In the last decades, a network of circular seasonal mobility, mostly involving migrants, interlinked with the needs of this labour market has grown in southern Europe. A vast body of research has highlighted the crucial role played by the migrant labour force in Mediterranean agro-industrial supply chains and has, at the same time, focused on the key role of the exploitation of immigrant labour as a way to face the structural weakness of agricultural economies.

Within those contexts, the rapid expansion of migrants’ informal settlements is intertwined with a set of multi-layered processes, such as the increasing precarization of working conditions, inadequate asylum reception policies, structural discrimination of the housing market and precarious homemaking practices. Interestingly, those settlements play the role of ‘stations’, or hubs, within a vast circulation network of workers, shaped by and enabling mobility across the Mediterranean space. At the same time, those dwelling environments – functional to labour exploitation dynamics – often take shape as racialized spaces, seemingly estranged from the rest of the society. Nevertheless, within those precarious places, meaningful forms of sociality, interaction and agency may also emerge.

Against this background, this panel aims at developing a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of migrants’ informal settlements, as well as of the different dynamics – such as shifting agricultural labour relations – facilitating their widespread diffusion across the Mediterranean ruralscape and reshaping agricultural economies. We welcome proposals that draw on original ethnographic research and engage with the wider political and social implication of this kind of occupational and dwelling condition. Possible themes include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Migrants’ informal settlements, housing precarity and housing segregation, or exclusion.
  • Labour relations in agricultural economies. Forms and dynamics of exploitation, precarity and informality among agricultural workers.
  • Labour conflicts along the “colour line”. Organized and individual tactics and practices of resistance of migrant farmworkers.
  • Racialized market labour. Forms of occupational segregation in the agri-food industry.
  • Migration routes and migrants’ informal settlements as nodes. Ephemeral and/or stable nature of those dwelling environments, as well their role in broader experiences of mobility, settlement or circulation.
  • Migrants’ informal settlements as sites of relationship and encounter. Solidarity practices, ethnic social capital, and social reproduction in migrants’ informal settlements.
  • Inhabiting precarity. Home-making practices, affective attachments and feelings of estrangement connected to migrants’ informal settlements.
  • Migrant’s informal settlements and new geographies of differential inclusion, within and across the European space.

The call addresses the following sub-disciplines among the others:

  • Migration studies
  • Urban and rural studies
  • Labour migration
  • Mobility studies

Short Bios
Jacopo Anderlini is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Education Studies at the University of Genoa. His main research interests are border studies, refugee studies, migration, critical theory on technologies, social and political philosophy. His work mixes qualitative methods and ethnography – with both multi-sited and digital fieldwork – and critical theoretical reflection. He is currently investigating the transformations of the government of mobility, its infrastructures and logistics, at the southern borders of Europe. He is part of the research group on the analysis of digital technologies C.I.R.C.E. and of several self-organised collectives that support the right to move. E-mail:

Enrico Fravega is a sociologist member of the MOBS (Mobilities, solidarities and imaginaries across the borders. PRIN Bando 2020 – Prot. 2020TELSM8) and REFINTEG (The Canadian model of the public-private sponsorship for the integration of refugees) research groups at the University of Genoa, Dipartimento di Scienze della Formazione. Previously he has been a research fellow at the University of Trento, joining the HOASI research project (Home and Asylum-Seekers in Italy). His research activity focuses on migrants’ housing pathways, housing conditions, institutional reception facilities and migrants’ informal settlements. E-mail:

Daniela Giudici is an anthropologist, interested in the ethnographic analysis of institutions, politics and regimes of care, migration and social movements. She is Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology and Cognitive Sciences, University of Trento. Together with Enrico Fravega, she has been engaged for three years in the HOASI project, focused on refugees’ housing conditions and “home experiences” in Italy.  E-mail: