General field of research
Paolo Riva, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
Current studies show that being rejected, ignored or discriminated against by others produces a broad range of negative effects: depression, decline in cognitive capacity, risk of suicide, aggressive behavior and increased risk of mortality. Migrants are among the social groups most exposed to phenomena of repeated social exclusion over time. This project focuses on both the problems and potential of real reception practices, correlating the elements of complexity faced by reception operators with regard to the life experiences of migrants.
The project makes use of both the analysis of secondary data from large-scale surveys, and an ad-hoc experimental study, in order to identify the factors of vulnerability (e.g. poor sense of belonging) and resilience (e.g., expectations of inclusion in the Italian community) able to predict the psychological (eg, depression) and behavioral responses to social exclusion.
Through the analysis of secondary data from large-scale surveys, the project investigates the psychological processes that can lead people who are victims of exclusion to social withdrawal and antisocial behaviors. Through the experimental study, conducted both with protection holders and asylum seekers and with migrants residing in Italy for more time, we analyze some factors capable of influencing the development over time of feelings of resignation and behavioral intentions aimed at seeking contact with the host population, at antisociality or at self-isolation.
Overall, the project aims to offer a pragmatic and scientific approach, the result of an empirical exploration of the daily context of reception, which is of support to migrants and institutions and which elects migrants as protagonists in promoting prosocial and resilient responses to the condition of exclusion of which they are frequently victims. The results can be used to better orient the reception practices developed by the host organizations and to carry out ad-hoc interventions aimed at promoting the well-being of migrants.