Distant Magnets: Expectations and Realities in the Immigrant Experience, 1840-1930

By Dirk Hoerder; Horst Rössler | Go to book overview

so much in the general conditions of the labor market in the host country as in the job opportunities corresponding to their professional experience. Thus migrants expected their social networks to perform not only the role of information channel but also of access channel to particular labor markets. All this accentuated the crucial importance of social networks in determining the direction of migratory flows, as well as influencing the migrants' expectations and shaping their image of their destination.


Notes

I wish to thank Horst Rössler, who read an earlier draft of this paper and made valuable comments.

Part of the data used here was collected during research sponsored by the Sella Foundation, Biella, Italy.

1.
Pietro Biasutti, "Cause, effetti e rimedi dell'emigrazione transatlantica: Suo stato ed importanza attuale nella provincia di Udine" Bollettino dell'Associazione agraria friulana (22 July 1878), 46.
2.
Le condizioni dei contadini del Veneto: Parte prima della relazione del commendatore Emilio Morpurgo ( Rome, 1882), 109-10.
3.
See Un secolo di emigrazione italiana: 1876-1976, ed. Gianfausto Rosoli ( Rome: Centro studi emigrazione, 1978), 19.
4.
See Emilio Franzina, "Le culture dell'emigrazione", Mezzosecolo, no. 5 ( 1985): 279-338.
5.
L'Eco dell'Industria (hereafter quoted as EI) ( Biella), 1 Aug 1889.
6.
Rudolph J. Vecoli, "Free Country: The American Republic Viewed by the Italian Left, 1880-1920", in In the Shadow of the Statue of Liberty: Immigrants, Workers and Citizens in the American Republic, 1880-1920, ed. Marianne Debouzy ( Paris: Presses Universitaires de Vincennes, 1988), 35-56.
7.
Letter from Torello, West Hoboken, N.J., 19 Mar 1886 to Ubertini (Archivio Giuseppe Ubertini, Biella).
8.
The first Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry into the workers' strike in Italy ( 1878) dedicated the central part of its final report to a long analysis of the "systematic war" that had characterized social life in this area from the late 1850s to the late 1870s. See Pietro Secchia, Capitalismo e classe operaia nel centro laniero d'Italia ( Rome: Editori Riuniti, 1960), 116-25.
9.
See Franco Ramella, Terra e telai ( Turin: Einaudi, 1984).
11.
Biella cattolica ( Biella), 9 Sept 1900. The newspaper wrote, with evident horror, as it recorded the young girl's words: "Twice a week, in the evening, together with almost all her female comrades from Biella, she

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