Enzo Colombo, Lidia Katia C. Manzo

A neighbour or a stranger? Anyone you love! Young Adults’ Representations of Intercultural Love

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Mixed couples; Intercultural Love; Cultural Diversity; Everyday Multiculturalism; Children of Migrants.

Mixed couples are considered a key indicator of the (diminished) social distance between intermarrying groups. However, this study examines whether it still makes sense to think about intermarriage and integration a further generation down: the young people living in multicultural societies increasingly characterized by cultural diversity and social change. Through 13 focus groups conducted between 2018 and 2019 with 102 young people aged 18-34 in the metropolitan area of Milan, the research explores how young people represent intercultural affective relationships in Italy and the meanings of cultural difference when the beloved is a «stranger». We highlight four main results: 1) the difference in emotional ties is perceived as an enrichment; 2) the significance of the partner’s social status for parental approval; 3) the values that affect a relationship negatively, particularly when it comes to religious and gender differences; 4) the forms that latent racial prejudice take in young people attitudes. The conclusions confirm the perception of «normality» of intercultural love: experiencing diversity if on the one hand becomes a resource, on the other is still problematic when older generations disapprove.

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