Call for papers Vol. 20, n. 2/2022 - Migrant families: intergenerational dynamics and inclusion in socio-educational contexts



The family as a social phenomenon has long been the protagonist of studies and research in various disciplines (sociology, psychology, sociolinguistics, educational linguistics, social and intercultural pedagogy, cultural anthropology...), which have highlighted its complex relational, communicative and sociocultural dynamics in migratory contexts. As the current conflict in Eastern Europe is giving rise to a forced migration mainly of women and minors, it is urgent to return to reflecting on the specificities of family migration through a systemic and interdisciplinary approach.

The family that faces the migratory experience finds itself in a new social and cultural system, where intergenerational and gender roles and relationships may undergo a partial or complete transformation. The new generations and minors play a fundamental role in this redefinition process, taking place in and through contact with the educational and school contexts. Given the ever-wider access to school of minors from migrant backgrounds, educational institutions become a place of inclusion and observation of varied parenthood, educational and care styles that compare themselves and / or change in contact with those of the country of arrival. Through the growth processes of sons and daughters, families enter into dialogue with training approaches and educational places in which adults, parents and educators meet, creating new synergies and educational models based on plurality (Ambrosini, 2019).

Within this process of family adaptation that migration generates, the redefinition of gender roles becomes central with respect to both the traditions and customs within the family unit and the emotional, cultural and religious ties that are re-established therein in the light of mobility. Starting from the education of children, inevitably in search of a balance between multiple linguistic and cultural backgrounds, a renegotiation of rules, roles, representations and tasks of the various members of the "migrant family" emerges (Crivellaro, 2021).

In addition to the aspects related to gender, an intergenerational approach also invites us to grasp the depth of the effects that migrations produce even beyond the generation that was the direct protagonist, expressing all the potential for social transformation that the phenomenon brings with itself (Zanfrini, 2016). Some authors (Attias-Donfut et al., 2012; Schmoll et al., 2017; Ambrosini, 2019) have highlighted that every migration crisis inevitably affects several generations following the migrant one. The new generations inherit a family migration history and an "ethnic status" (Zanfrini, 2018) which also influence their processes of socialization, with the associated constraints and resources.

The family also plays a fundamental role in defining attitudes towards the different linguistic-cultural codes (of origin) that make up the linguistic and identity repertoires of minor children, influencing the mechanisms of maintenance, loss or erosion of the language(s) of origin, as well as the definition of an open approach to the coexistence of multiple linguistic varieties in communication practices (Chini & Andorno, 2018; Cognigni, 2019). The construction of the linguistic and cultural repertoires of "second generation" children and adolescents, as well as of the subsequent ones, also depends on the way in which communication practices between parents and children are organized and on the specific language policies that families adopt, depending on their migratory project and / or on the various internal and external influences to the family unit (Spolsky, 2012).

Choosing the “migrant family” as an observation point for migratory processes means being able to examine, among other aspects, the different relational and communicative modalities through which family ties and cultural connections are built and / or maintained among its members and with the contexts of origin, the intergenerational dynamics relating to the transmission of languages ​​and cultures of origin, as well as the identity, socio-cultural and communicative transformations that arise when it comes into contact with different socio-cultural and educational contexts in the country of arrival.

With Vol. 20, N. 2 of the journal “Intercultural Education, Theories, Research, Practices”, which will be published in November 2022, we intend to create a monographic Dossier that promotes interdisciplinary discussion on the above-mentioned topics. The call, open to professors and academic researchers, is intended as an opportunity to reflect on the state of the art of research in this area. We welcome research contributions of both theoretical and applied nature, with possible examples of projects and / or interventions implemented in socio-educational and school contexts in favor of families and minors from migrant backgrounds.

The editors of the monographic dossier, Edith Cognigni (University of Macerata) and Isabella Crespi (University of Macerata) await the submission of an abstract (600-800 words) no later than 30th June 2022 and will be written in one of the following languages: English, French, Italian or Spanish.

Acceptance / rejection of the proposal will be communicated by 15th July 2022.

The complete contribution must be sent no later than 30th September 2022. Double-blind peer review will follow.

Guidelines for authors are available at the following address:

Abstracts and contributions must be sent (indicating "Abstract for Migrant Families" in the subject) to the following email address:

PDF version of the call is available here.


Ambrosini M. (2019), Famiglie nonostante, Il Mulino, Bologna.

Ambrosini M. (2020), Sociologia delle migrazioni, Il Mulino, Bologna.

Attias-Donfut C., Cook J. (2017), Intergenerational Relationships in Migrant Families. Theoretical and Methodological Issues, in Bolzman C., Bernardi L. and Le Goff Jm. (eds), Situating Children of Migrants Across Borders and Origins. Life Course Research and Social Policies. Vol 7., Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 115-133.

Chini M., Andorno C. M. (2018), Repertori e usi linguistici nell'immigrazione. Una indagine su minori alloglotti dieci anni dopo, Milano, FrancoAngeli.

Crespi I., Zanier M. L., (2020), Migrazioni, processi educativi e percorsi di cittadinanza. Sfide per una società inclusiva, Sesto San Giovanni, Mimesis Edizioni.

Cognigni E. (2019), Migrant family language policies and plurilingual practices: from mothers’ representations to language education policies, in S. Haque (ed.), Family language policy. Dynamics in language transmission under a migratory context; Muenchen, LINCOM; pp. 67-78.

Crespi I., Meda S., Merla, L. (2018), Making multicultural families in Europe. Gender and intergenerational relations , London, Palgrave Macmillan.

Crivellaro F. (2021), Così lontane, così vicine. Famiglie migranti, ruoli familiari e nuove configurazioni di genitorialità, Archivio antropologico mediterraneo [Online], Anno XXIV, n. 23(2). URL:

Deluigi R. (2017), Sentieri pedagogici e spazi accoglienti. Minori di origine straniera e intrecci educativi nel territorio, in METIS; Speciali di Metis 1/2017; Bari, Progedit; pp. 290 - 297.

Gasperoni G., Albertini M. e Mantovani D., a cura di, (2018), Fra genitori e figli. Immigrazione, rapporti intergenerazionali e famiglie nell’Europa contemporanea, Bologna, Il Mulino.

Gozzoli C. e Regalia C. (2005), Migrazioni e famiglie. Percorsi, legami e interventi psicosociali, Bologna, Il Mulino.

Merla L. (2018), “Rethinking the Interconnections between Family Socialization and Gender through the Lens of Multi-local, Post-separation Families”, Sociologica, 12(3),47-57,

Riniolo V. (2019), I nuovi volti del cambiamento: le seconde generazioni in italia, in Venticinquesimo rapporto sulle migrazioni 2019, Milano, FrancoAngeli, pp. 295-309.

Schmoll C., Dubucs H. and Pfirsch T. (2017), Talking about My Generation. Emigration and Sense Of Generation Among Highly Skilled Italian Migrants in Paris, in Murray L. and Robertson S., eds., Intergenerational Mobilities: Relationality, Age And Lifecourse, Ashgate, London,  pp.78-89.

Spolsky, Bernard. 2012. Family Language Policy – the critical domain. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 33, pp. 3-11.

Zanfrini L. (2018), “Cittadini di un mondo globale, perché le seconde generazioni hanno una marcia in più”, Studi emigrazione/international journal of migration studies, Lv (209), 53-90.