Inclusion Without Recognition: The Socialist Left and Immigrants in 1970s Italy Davide Pero


Diverting from the prevailing trend that considers Italy in terms of international migrations, this article examines one aspect of its internal mass migrations, namely, how the mainstream Left of the 1960s and 1970s constructed southern immigrants in northern cities, taking the ‘red city’ of Bologna as a privileged context for analysis. The article argues that this construction—despite a number of significant limitations—was on the whole inclusionary, as it incorporated the immigrants into the working class and into the socialist project of societal transformation. By analytically describing the framing of immigrants by the ‘socialist’ Left, this article also highlights the historically specific nature in which migrants are constructed, lays the basis for a future comparison with the contemporary ‘postsocialist’ construction of immigrants, and provides material for a more general anthropological reflection on the trajectories followed by discourses of inclusion/exclusion in recent decades.