The shifting boundaries of (un)documentedness: a Gendered understanding of migrants’ Employmentbased legalization pathways in Italy
The paper provides a qualitative exploration of the experiences of migrants who have engaged in the last Employment-based amnesties in Italy. To cross the illegal/legal divide migrants have to successfully perform societal expectations in terms of more or less deserving kinds of work embedded in legalization measures. The moral Economy of domestic work favours the creation of employer–employee relationships, which – while sometimes highly exploitative – are more frequently capitalized for legalization purposes. Male workers have been instead disadvantaged by the frequent lack of long-term, dependent work positions and by policies’ favourable stance towards domestic work. However, migrants actively challenge marginalization manoeuvring their work identities through a varied network of interMediaries to exploit the greater legitimization of domestic work in a context marked by compliance and weak gatekeeping. The paper contributes to the literature on irregularity showing how work-related legalization processes are achieved and the role Gender plays in this process.