Month Six: Connecting the Dots

Throughout December my thesis has begun to come together. My thesis will most likely be broken up into three distinct sections.

First, in order to understand the reasons behind the way Italians treat asylum seekers, we must know the context into which migrants arrive. Italy has a very complex relationship with migration, turning from a country of emigration to one of immigration in the 1980s. Additionally, Italian personhood is centered on the small area in Italy in which you were raised. It is therefore very difficult for asylum seekers to integrate into this tight knit system not being from Italy.

The second section will deal with the role of documents in the daily lives of asylum seekers. These individuals are in a constant state of worrying about their lack of documentation, making their lives filled with stress. Additionally, the asylum seekers are asked to sign many documents everyday to ensure that they are “behaving.” They must sign a document saying they spent the night at their home, to gather their allowance, and to go to school. This constant surveillance has an enormous effect on the way in which they live their lives while in Siena.

Lastly I will be wrapping up with a discussion about how all of these factors influence the asylum seekers with whom I worked in Siena. I am excited to see how my thesis will unfold in my last undergrad semester!