Volume XII |

The new immigration in Sicily: between acceptance and rejection. The case of the city of Vittoria

Abstract: The aim of this study is to focus on the recent growing flow of foreign immigration into Sicily, in order to highlight how traumatic this development has been for Sicilian society. Although tolerance towards foreign presence is deeply rooted in Sicilian customs and traditions, recently it has been put at risk by the emergence of various ethnic groups, who are settling on Sicilian soil and are impacting upon local institutions, economy and society. The Sicilian population is the product of a melting pot of races and ethnicities, whose features can be found in the make-up of the Sicilian population. However, since the end of the nineteenth century, Sicilian population dynamics have been stable, with no traces of unabsorbed foreign presences. So, the plain of the Albanians, founded in 1500, and more recently Mazara del Vallo, which hosts a large group of Tunisians, were just isolated cases. The 70’s are the turning point since Sicily from a land of emigration became a land of immigration. Lots of ethnicities use Sicily as a natural corridor where the Mediterranean flows are channelled. To conclude we would like to find out which are the levels of intolerance and acceptance, and if one is more prominent than the other.