Main Article Content
In Italy, the definition of “unaccompanied foreign minor” was recently
reaffirmed by Law 47/2017, which at the same time established the figure of “volunteer
guardian”. This essay discusses both rhetoric and representations on this figure conveyed
by some institutional actors and the performed experiences of a group of volunteer
guardians in a northern Italian town. The description of this re-shaped guardianship as
an expression of “social parenting” calls for an in-depth analysis of the extent of state
regulatory intervention in the relational life definition of the foreign minors living in its
territory. If volunteer guardianship is asked to fill a part of the alleged void since their
not being considered, to some extent, someone's child, I propose to call the practices
developed on volunteer guardians “State genealogies”. Consisting in the mobilisation
of parental lexicon in an attempt to de-bureaucratise and personify the State and its
institutions, “State genealogies” involve at once an anthropo-poietic project of de-kinning
and resocialization. Drawing on an ethnographic fieldwork that took place from 2018 to
2021, I engaged the progressive difficulties in placing oneself in these genealogies and
in acting out the shared parenting when faced with a scarce circulation of knowledge
or an often limited conviviality. In the end, it is the call by the guardians themselves
for anthropological contributions that closes this ethnographic path and opens up the
possibility to outline a deeper involvement of anthropological knowledge and practices
in these public spaces.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
All works published in this journal are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.