Exporting identity: Italians in London during the long 19th century
by Robin Palmer
International Journal of Business and Globalisation (IJBG), Vol. 21, No. 3, 2018

Abstract: We live in a time of increased international migration and asylum seeking. Those involved have become scapegoats for nativists who support parties with promises to restore what they have lost through neoliberalism and globalisation. Neoliberalism may be of recent derivation, but it is derived from the liberalism and laissez-faire capitalism of the 'long 19th century' (1750-1914). Then, as now, the masses were 'pushed' to migrate by accelerated population growth and its political and socio-economic correlates. Focusing on London, the paper examines the experience of Italian migrants and asylum seekers in the UK of that period, who drew on the historic Italophilia of the British to advance their careers or causes. Collective reputation, so long as it is positive, can be an important resource for 'culture entrepreneurs' in migrant or refugee settings; it can take a long time to build but once established tends to be resilient and capable of innovative reinterpretation.

Online publication date: Tue, 02-Oct-2018

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