Mande Metalworkers’ International:
The case of «Burkinavorian» Chain Migration
This article intends to summarise a eld of research concerning the chain migration between the Ivory Coast and Italy. The dissertation begins with retracing the history of burkinavorian migration (Burkinabé and Ivorians), with a focus on its uniformities and historical determinants. Particularly, we underline the priority of linguistic and ethno-religious identity as a factor of structuration. After examining the migration history up to the «rise to the North of Italy», towards northern industrial districts, we investigate the dynamics of job placement in local labor markets. The ethnography is carried out within an industrial district crowded with spatial concentrations of Burkinavorians. The district’s distinctive features are analytically presented, starting from the social structure the immigrants integrate into. The article aims to demonstrate the overlap of cultural differences on social and economic differentials. In conclusion, we will argue that the mobilization of burkinavorians workers takes place by means of legal constraints on one hand, and the imperative of «tradition» on the other. After individuating the several actors involved in the process, we will claim that burkinavorian immigration is the outcome of a post-colonial strategy which has intentionally built the conditions for the settlement of immigrants, who could prove themselves highly useful for the Italian local economies.
Keywords: Immigration in Italy; African workers; Mandé peoples; Ivory Coast