1st Edition

Children of Immigrants in Southern Europe Overcoming Ethnic Penalties

Edited By Giuseppe Gabrielli, Roberto Impicciatore Copyright 2025
    164 Pages
    by Routledge

    The goal of successfully incorporating ethnic minorities represents a decisive challenge for modern societies. However, migratory background continues to negatively affect the life trajectories of migrants’ descendants. ‘Hard’ and ‘soft’ barriers determine long-term inequality gaps and low intergenerational social mobility in both longstanding and more recent European immigration countries.

    This book complements the sparse findings on education, labour market outcomes, and wellbeing relating to immigrant offspring by providing original research in order to individuate strategies for removing the obstacles that the migrants’ descendants face.  Chapters offer in-depth analyses that have been performed for specific Southern European contexts to explore the specific inequality patterns that are emerging in these more recent and unexplored immigration contexts. The main findings suggest that the lower academic performances of immigrants’ descendants can be raised through language-support programmes, mentoring programmes, positive role and disciplinary climate, extra-scholastic activities, and parental involvement. Equality opportunities in education should support school-to-work transitions and better allocate the underutilised human capital reserves of migrants’ descendants. Conversely, long-lasting penalties in educational careers and integration processes may arise when children are physically separated from their parents because of delayed family reunification.

    This book will be a key resource for academics, researchers, and advanced students of sociology, ethnic and racial studies, international politics, and migration studies. It was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

    Introduction – Breaking down the barriers: educational paths, labour market outcomes and wellbeing of children of immigrants

    Giuseppe Gabrielli and Roberto Impicciatore

    1. Understanding why immigrant children underperform: evidence from Italian compulsory


    Moris Triventi, Eleonora Vlach and Elisa Pini


    2. The academic resilience of native and immigrant-origin students in selected

    European countries

    Giuseppe Gabrielli, Sergio Longobardi and Salvatore Strozza


    3. Home-school distance among native and immigrant-origin lower secondary students in

    urban Northern Italy

    Debora Mantovani, Giancarlo Gasperoni and Federica Santangelo


    4. The occupational attainment and job security of immigrant children in Spain

    Jacobo Muñoz-Comet and Albert F. Arcarons


    5. Early career trajectories of first- and second-generation migrant graduates of

    professional university

    Barbara Belfi, Jim Allen, Babs Jacobs, Mark Levels and Kars van Oosterhout


    6. The impact of physical separation from parents on the mental wellbeing of the children

    of migrants

    Héctor Cebolla Boado and Amparo González Ferrer



    Giuseppe Gabrielli PhD, Professor of Demography at University of Naples Federico II (Italy). His interests focus on international migration and demographic behaviours of migrants and their descendants in Europe. He authored books on the integration of migrants and second generations in Italy. He published, among others, in the British Educational Research Journal, Demographic Research, European Journal of Population, International Migration, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.


    Roberto Impicciatore PhD, Professor of Demography at Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna (Italy). His research interests focus mainly on international and internal migration, family dynamics and life courses in Europe. His works have been published, among others, in the European Journal of Population, International Migration, International Migration Review, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Population, Space and Place.