Feeling at Home:

National Identity and the Second Generation in the US and Western Europe

8 May 2018
Versione stampabile

Time: 4.00 p.m.
Venue: Department of Sociology and Social Research, via Verdi, 26 - Trento, Meeting Room - Third Floor


  • Nancy Foner  - Distinguished Professor of Sociology, City University of New York

Drawing on an analysis of immigrant and second generation integration in the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, this talk focuses on issues of belonging among the second generation children of immigrants, and on the links between feeling at home and issues of national identity on both sides of the Atlantic. Whether the second generation children of immigrants feel at home in the countries where they live is bound up with how they are viewed by those in the native majority population.   They have been born and raised in the country where their immigrant parents moved -- so this country is home in this sense.   But do they feel they belong?  To what degree do they really feel at home? Do they see themselves as included in the broader national identity?  Are the second generation children of immigrants considered American, for example, or German or Dutch?  A key issue throughout is analyzing why the US seems to be more comfortable with extending a national identity to the second generation than the Western European countries.