Cross-cultural couples are a critical “place” to study the transformations of identities which happen when natives and immigrants live together. This is an emergent phenomenon in Italy. This paper arises from a research study carried out by analizing statistical data and interviewing with both partners of a few mixed couples living in the Tuscan provinces. Age, gender and nationality emerge as key-variables to explain the dynamics in the birth and in the private life of these couples, as well as in the pressures of society. Particularly, the statistical research has pointed out anomalous age asymmetries between husbands and wives, as compensatory mechanisms permitting immigrants to have access to the marriage market. The age factor is interesting in the analysis of social reactions, too. The younger partners suffer the worse reaction from the family. Moreover, the older a native relative is, the more racist his reaction to the mixed couple seems to be. In analyzing friends’ behaviours it appears that young Italian people are often unfriendly to immigrant partners. Finally, in these new mixed couples women (both indigenous and immigrant) have emerged as protagonists in many aspects of the relationship, while their partners play a less active role.
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