IMISCOE - DIVCULT Standing Committee
Professor Venturini is on the executive board of IMISCOE-DIVCULT, which aims to better understand the relevance of arts and culture in the theoretical and policy debates about immigrant incorporation and diversity in Europe and beyond. Activities involving the arts have increasingly attracted the interest of migration researchers because they prove to be a means of moving beyond ethnic differences towards narratives of identity and belonging that are more apt to capture the current post-migrant reality in many cities and countries. We intend to cover a wide range of artistic and cultural activities in our analyses, ranging from music, literature, cinema and the theatre to sports, fashion, clothing, design and food. The idea is to jointly work on the following dimensions:
· Theoretical and conceptual issues
· Relevance and social impact
These dimensions constitute the general framework within which the researchers involved can develop joint research, organise workshops and conferences and publish their reflexions.
IMISCOE (International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion in Europe) is Europe's largest interdisciplinary research network in the field of migration, integration and diversity studies. The research network currently consists of 56 research institutes from almost all European countries and from various disciplines, including sociology, political science, economics, law, demography, public administration, social geography and history.
Drivers of cultural participation of immigrants: evidence from an Italian survey (forthcoming Cultural Economics)
E. Bertacchini, A. Venturini and R. Zotti
Department of Economics and Statistics “Cognetti de Martiis”, University of Torino.
The paper aims to explore the drivers of immigrants’ participation to cultural and leisure activities in host countries. First, we discuss how the main analytical approaches on cultural participation can be extended to incorporate factors specific to migrants’ characteristics and behaviour, namely dimensions of proximity to the native population’s culture and the level of integration in the host society. Secondly, we investigate migrants’ propensity for consumption of cultural and leisure activities using data of a special national survey on Income and Living conditions (2011-2012) on foreign households in Italy. Italy represents an interesting case because it is a recent immigration country, making the analysis particularly suitable for studying the behaviour of first-generation immigrants. Our findings suggest that language proficiency, duration of stay and intention to remain in the host country significantly increase the probability to access various types of leisure and cultural activities. Interestingly, after controlling for standard individual predictors, several dimensions of an immigrant’s cultural background and proximity with the culture of the host society still significantly explain variation in cultural participation rates, confirming that cultural differences play a role in migrants’ cultural consumption choice.
IZA (Institute for Labour Economics). Discussion Paper Series. Cultural Change and the Migration Choice. (2018)
Migration has become in the last decades one of the overarching phenomena at the global level. Much of the academic and policy debate has focused on the determinants of economic and social integration in the receiving societies, but very little attention has been devoted to migrants’ engagement in the arts and cultural activities and more generally on their cultural integration. Using Italy as a case study, we find that, rather than personal cultural capital, cultural participation is significantly and primarily driven by the process of acculturation which takes place during the stay in the host country. At the same time, the effect of migrants’ cultural background is more complex, varying across cultural groups and depending on the type of cultural activities considered.
An extensive literature in both economics and sociology has theoretically and empirically unveiled the determinants of cultural participation. Jointly with standard factors linked to market conditions and households’ time and economic resources, theoretical models have highlighted how engagement in arts and cultural activities crucially depends on the process of taste formation, that can be in turn explained by some forms of culture-specific consumption capital. Despite the substantial cultural participation research, the majority of works have rarely studied and provided evidence on factors that affect the variation and accumulation of culture-specific consumption capital by migrants, thus explaining the accessibility to cultural goods and activities available in the hosting society by this segment of its population.
In our study, we tried to shed light on these factors by identifying two additional channels specific to the immigrant population, namely the individual process of acculturation and the heterogeneity in cultural traits at immigrant group level (Fernandez, 2011). The former relates to the level of integration in the new society (Berry, 1997) and is generally captured through several dimensions, such as the years of residence in the destination country, proficiency in the language of the host country and the degree of socialization with natives. The latter channel refers instead to the effects of cultural values and beliefs (or their proximity with the culture of the host country) on the variation in behavior and outcomes of individuals who share the same institutional environment (Fernandez, 2011). Common measures to capture migrants’ cultural values are the nationality or religion, while one of the most commonly adopted measures of cultural proximity remains the similarity among languages.
We empirically test the influence of these channels on immigrants’ decision to engage in leisure and cultural activities by using data from a unique survey conducted by the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) in 2011-2012 on living conditions on a sample of 25,000 individuals from households with foreign-born members.
Italy represents an interesting case study because, compared to other Western European countries, it is characterized by a more recent history of immigration flows, which makes it possible to better analyze the behavior of first-generation immigrants and their degree of adjustement in the new context. In addition, the Italian language is scarcely spread globally and thus it enables researchers to better identify the effect that linguistic barriers have on immigrants’ cultural participation in the destination country.
In our empirical analysis we use a latent class model (zero-inflated ordered probit) to jointly estimate non-participation and intensity of engagement in cultural activities, and we control for a large set of individual and environmental characteristics. The analysis is carried out for distinct leisure and cultural activities, namely sport events, dancing venues, cinema, theater and music concerts.
Our findings indicate that, even after controlling for individual characteristics usually used to explain cultural participation, the immigrants’ level of integration and, to a lesser extent, their cultural background play a role in explaining differences in cultural consumption. Cultural participation is significantly and primarily driven by different dimensions of integration in the host country, suggesting that the acculturation process is crucial to build culture-specific consumption capital and favor the accessibility to cultural products in the host society. Conversely, participation in cultural and leisure activities is only partially explained by differences in cultural traits peculiar to immigrant communities, with individuals whose cultural traits are more distant from the Italian context (such as those from Asian and Arab countries) being the least active in cultural participation.
The use of zero inflated models to analyze cultural consumption also offers some insights as to the role and effectiveness of cultural policies aimed at immigrants’ inclusion in the Italian context. Far from pursuing assimilation of migrant minorities, standard integration policies that favor the long-term economic and social adaptation in the host society might still matter to reduce on average the propensity not to participate in cultural and leisure activities. At the same time, for some cultural activities (e.g. Cinema and Theatre) our results suggest that there is a large share of non-attendance among potential participants that could be reduced with targeted interventions to mitigate the constraints (i.e. time, economic, information) on cultural consumption. Moreover, these audience development policies need to be tailored on specific minorities as the observed rate of non-consumption is often not strictly linked to a cultural barrier to participation.
Survey of the empirical methods adopted to measure the effects of cultural consumption on wellbeing and its components (Forthcoming)
Ricci A., Venturini A., Mosso C.
Università degli Studi di Torino
A vast body of research has demonstrated that group singing has a positive repercussion on participants' well-being and health. Many studies have shown a significant impact on subjective well-being and people health. Much less has been done on the effects of group singing on labour-related skills developed by participants. The complexity of the theme and the difficulty of finding adequate indicators to investigate this issue necessitate a more exhaustive review about tests and indicators. We started by organising the literature about group singing and well-being already available. In this review, we choose to include only the more recent research to prevent the dissemination of outdated information. We found incredible interdisciplinarity governing this theme and many useful indicators. What is evident is the impossibility of using a single or a coherent series of indicators, either qualitative or quantitative. In all the research work available, we found qualitative and quantitative indicators used complementarily. The coupling of questionnaires and physiological indicators, such as saliva samples, or subjective indicators and hormone detection, provides more robust evidence of the positive impact of group singing on well-being. Significant research has not been done about the effect of group-singing on developing personal and soft skills that can be deployed in the labour market. Teamwork, reliability, problem solving, and being part of a community could be essential characteristics that enable the group participant to find a better job. Nevertheless, research has demonstrated the difficulty to identify riliable indicators to represent and detect these dimensions.