From metaphor of slavery to metaphor of freedom: Article 18 and the incorporation of migrant prostitutes into Italian society

Testaî, Patrizia (2008) From metaphor of slavery to metaphor of freedom: Article 18 and the incorporation of migrant prostitutes into Italian society. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis is concerned with the debate on 'trafficking in persons' as a new form of slavery. It will explore the concept of slavery both historically and in its links with contemporary migration and connected issues of gender, sexuality, and labour exploitation. Within the contemporary debate on 'trafficking', attention has focused in fact predominantly on migrant women and girls involved in sex work and described as 'victims of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation'.

This thesis will explore the meaning of slavery in such debate. For this purpose, a research study will be carried out in three Italian cities, focusing on the ways in which such terms as 'slavery', 'trafficking in persons', and 'sexual slavery' are understood and applied within social protection programmes for victims of trafficking which, under Article 18 of the immigration law, grant a special residence permit and opportunities for such victims to work and stay permanently in Italy. The study is based on interviews with key actors working in social protection programmes such as judges, NGO workers, social workers, psychologists, lawyers, and police officers, on interviews with migrant women working in the sex industry and women using protection programmes, and on the analysis of parliamentary speeches and press articles. It will seek to critically assess the validity of 'new slavery' - as 'trafficking' is usually understood - as an expression to understand problems related to contemporary exploitative labour practices within the context of global poverty, dislocation of capital and labour, and restrictive immigration regimes. It will focus on the gender, 'racial', and sexuality aspects of anti-trafficking policies in Italy and how they get linked to citizenship within the socio-legal process enacted by Article 18 of the Italian immigration law. It will finally ask what kind of citizenship is granted to subjects who have been Otherised as 'slaves' on the basis of their gender and sexuality and who, through a postcolonial process of discipline and social control, are incorporated into the Italian society via their 'domestication' within 'proper' sexual, gender, and labour roles (i.e. as domestic workers in Italian families or as wives).

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Geary, R.J.
O'Connell, J.N.
Subjects: H Social sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
D History - General and Old World > DG Italy
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of History
Item ID: 11868
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2011 09:47
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2017 05:56

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