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The Morality of Immigrant Home Ownership: gender, work and Italian-Australian sistemazione

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Abstract:

Studies on Australian migrants and housing consistently confirm that the Italianborn have the highest home-ownership rates of all birthplace groups in Australia. Only a few studies have suggested explanatory factors, including agrarian histories and economic aspirations. This paper demonstrates that home ownership for post-war Italian migrants to Australia was indeed conditioned by these and other factors, but within the broader process of migration. Conditions of poverty in Italy made sistemazione (settling down) the goal of migration. Built into sistemazione was a gendered moral imperative to achieve it. Work experiences demonstrate how this imperative conditioned home ownership in Australia.

Keywords: GENDER; HOME OWNERSHIP; IMMIGRATION; ITALIAN-AUSTRALIANS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/713612245

Affiliations: Monash University, Australia

Publication date: July 1, 2000

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