Italians and Foreign Immigration
AbstractOpinion surveys on attitudes towards immigration are becoming more and more
important, owing to the increasing role of political debate on migration issues in
Western European countries. CNR has conducted four surveys on this topic, collecting
data on the evolution of Italians attitudes towards migration issues. In fact, the ? rst
survey was conducted in the second half of the eighties, when foreign immigration
was in its early stages. The last survey took place in 2002, when immigration was
already well established in Italy. The article focuses on three main issues: the global
impact of immigration on Italian society, the immigrants role in the labour market,
and immigration policy. In general, the results of the last survey con? rm a trend that
appeared already in 1997, of more balanced and realistic opinion that were less of a
response to circumstances perceived as special emergencies. Highly educated people, teachers and students continue to be the most open and receptive groups, whereas
the less favourably inclined and more worried continue to be old people, those with
less education, the unemployed, housewives, and retirees.
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