Sense of Belonging and Political Participation: A Qualitative Case Study Connecting Migrants’ Sense of Belonging and Political Participation in Brescia, Italy

Master Thesis

Bertelli, Davide (2019) Sense of Belonging and Political Participation: A Qualitative Case Study Connecting Migrants’ Sense of Belonging and Political Participation in Brescia, Italy. MA thesis, Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo, Oslo.

​This thesis explores the connections between sense of belonging and political participation among the migrants in Brescia, Italy. It is a qualitative case study that analyses and discusses the migrants’ interpretations, feelings, understandings and experiences of belonging and political participation at the formal and informal levels. Drawing on theories of belonging and participation, the many relationships governing the two are brought to light. A key finding emerges from the research: sense of belonging and political participation continuously influence and reinforce each other. This is translated into the development of social and political change at a variety of scales, from the local to the transnational, with migrants undergoing a constant process of maturation and recognition of the self within the community they are situated in. By discussing how migrants rework and make sense of political structures, this study contributes to advance knowledge in the field of political geography: it represents a modern analysis of one of the aspects of contemporary migration in Western Europe.

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Authors

Davide Bertelli

Davide Bertelli

Research Assistant

Supervisors

Marta Bivand Erdal

Marta Bivand Erdal

Research Professor in Migration Studies

Research Groups