Cristina Franchi

Recent Italian Migration: Generation Typical Appropriation Strategies of Current Immigrant Italians in Basel

Since the late 19th century, Italian migrants have had a strong presence in Basel, and more generally in Switzerland. Their presence steadily increased in the post-war period until the 1970s due to the strong economic recovery in Switzerland and its great demand for labor. After peaking in the 1970s, the number of Italian migrants continually declined in Basel until 2007. Since then,  an increase has been observed. It is to be investigated whether this is a reversal trend: while the Italians between the 1960s and 1980s are numerous, and mostly immigrated from similar socioeconomic background as migrant workers, there is now a new italian immigrant generation whose motivation to emigrate and socioeconomic background have not been identified.

The research projekt seeks to inquire into new Italian immigration and the generation typical appropriation strategies in the new location: what are the differences or similarities between the newly immigrated Italians and those who have lived in Basel for decades? Starting from their personal biographies, the research will identify types which differ in their experience as immigrants and identify their relation to their context of origin and destination.

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ueli Mäder (Universität Basel)

Co-Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ingrid Breckner (HafenCity Universität Hamburg), Dr. Rebekka Ehret (Hochschule Luzern)


Cristina Franchi studied Urban Planning in a double master program between HafenCity Universität Hamburg (Germany) and Politecnico di Milano (Italy). After her studies, she worked as a social researcher at the Italian trade union CGIL; on projects concerning the maintenance of school buildings, the integration of people with mental health problems into the labor market, and the issue of working hours and work conditions in the field of wholesale trade. She has worked in Switzerland for the Projekt IBA Basel 2020 on organizational activities, basic research work, and research on strategies; and innovative concepts in the fields of housing, high-qualified immigrants, and participation processes.

Since January 2014, Cristina Franchi has been a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Basel. She has been awarded a two years scholarship from the “Professorinnen-Programm” of the HafenCity Universität Hamburg (Germany); and in 2016, a one year scholarship from the “Forschungsfonds Nachwuchsforschende” of the University of Basel for the follow-up financing her dissertation.

Her research interests are: urban politics, urban sociology, sociology of housing, migration and integration in urban contexts, neighborhood development.