Invisible intersections: thirty years since the Aravaca crime. To imagine and pursue intercultural and anti-racism education

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.8154461 | PDF | Educazione Aperta 13/2023

This paper sheds light on Spain’s first official hate crime perpetrated against a migrant worker, showing the interconnections between gender, ethnicity and class. Through the stories and experiences of the Dominican community of Madrid, the article presents the challenges that women meet during their migratory experience and during their inclusion process in the destination country. This is illustrated through a case that contribute to understanding the specific role and responsibility that the education and pedagogy must assume to respond to the serious educational emergencies that the different forms of racism and discrimination cause within societies. The paper also focuses on the importance of the study of racisms in history to understand today’s challenges that, if they are not approached with a critical, radical and rigorous perspective, can become an obstacle to the development of civil, democratic and respectful communities. Exactly thirty years have passed since the tragic death of Lucrecia Perez Matos but the educational issues contained in her history still question us closely.

Key Words: intercultural and anti-racism education; pedagogy of differences; inclusion processes; Aravaca crime; qualitative research.


Since the 1970s, the domestic sector’s labour market in all EU countries has experienced considerable growth. In particular, in Italy and Spain has become the main sector of employment for migrant women who have been engaged by autochthonous families to take care of children, clean the house or to look after an older or disabled family member (Loiodice, 2017, p. 18). In recent years we have witnessed the development of an authentic demand for female immigrant labour to respond to the care needs of the local population. This phenomenon has been supported by several variables and processes: a quickly ageing population, the falling fertility rates, a profound restructuring of the economic system which has increased the female participation in the labour market, the persistence of rigid patterns of gendered labour division in families, etc. (Castagnone, Salis, Premazzi, 2013, p. 2). This “invisible welfare”, marked in many cases by the use of irregular foreign labor, has become a multifaceted and complex phenomenon which requires it to be analyzed by using a multidimensional approach (Ambrosini, 2013).


The paper intends to reflect on the different forms of racism and discrimination perpetrated against migrant workers and on the inclusion processes of the immigrant women. The article uses the results of a qualitative research carried out in Madrid which aimed to investigate the processes of inclusion of the Dominican community in the Spanish context. In particular, through the use of the semi-structured interview, I collected the experiences of 12 women (20-60 age group). In addition, it was possible to count on the support of the Embassy of the Dominican Republic in Spain, whom I thank for their collaboration. The investigation was carried out in 2016, in an interdisciplinary perspective, using Grounded Theory in a constructivist key as a method of investigation (Glaser, Strauss, 1967; Charmaz, 2006) and the semi-structured interview as a data collection tool (Atkinson, 1998). The interviews were 1–2 hours in length and covered four main themes: the migratory journey, the process of integration into the new context, the family biography in migration and the prospects and expectations for the future. I have provided methodological information to contextualize the empirical research carried out but, the analytical focus of the paper is not the conceptual categories obtained, rather a case that emerged unexpectedly from the comparison with the interviewees. A case, a true story that deeply marked the identity of the Dominican and Spanish community in Madrid. In fact, during the research, several participants referred to the story of Lucrecia Perez Matos, a dominican migrant worker killed in the spanish peninsula. In this regard, in this article, thanks to the testimonies collected and through a careful hemerographic research on contemporary sources, one of the bloodiest and most tragic events in the history of immigration in Europe has been brought to light: Spain’s first official hate crime.

Migratory flows and inclusion processes: the role of migrant women

The Dominican migration phenomenon involved more than one million people worldwide. Since the 1980s, about 14 percent of the Dominican population sought better opportunities in other countries, mainly The United States of America, Spain and Italy (Morales, Rodríguez, 2022, p. 3). The migratory phenomenon towards the EU countries possesses in itself characteristic nuances that immediately distinguished it from the migratory flows directed to the USA. First of all, the predominance of women constitutes an important difference with respect to the Dominican migration to the United States, where, usually, men are the first to undertake the migratory path. Women are the direct protagonists who manage the migration process to Europe through their work, providing for their husbands and children who remained at home and, in most cases, join them later through the family reunification. The latter is the case of South American women (Silva, 2006, p. 31) and in particular, as will be emphasized in this article, of Dominican women. The decision to leave and undertake the migration experience seems oriented by a rational choice with respect to the real possibilities of insertion in the local labour market. For this reason, there occurs a kind of gender selection which determines the departure of women dictated by a faster insertion in the labour market and the possibility to produce sufficient money in order to allow a quick return to home (Lagomarsino, 2006, p. 130). Tognetti Bordogna has identified them as the “pioneers”, these women who have built their own migratory history on their own, those who ensure resources for their family and at the same time provide for the needs of another family in the country of arrival (Tognetti Bordogna, 2004, p. 100). The female characterization of Dominican migration in Europe is also reflected in the Spanish case, in particular in Madrid (Aparicio Gómez, Portes, 2014). Women migrate as much as men, but the lack of a gender perspective does not allow to recognize the specificities of the phenomenon (Gregorio Gil, 2012). Taking a gender perspective during the analysis of international migration means reading the push and pull factors in combination with existing gender stereotypes (Silva, Lourdes Jesus, 2019): the idea that it will to improve their socio-economic condition; the desire to run away from problematic relationships; the opportunity to unhinge rigid behavioural patterns based on crystallized gender standards; the possibility of getting out of subordinate relationships within society and the family, etc. (Mancaniello, Lapov, Di Grigoli, 2022, p. 26). These are all considerations that determine the choice of departure. As confirmed by the interviewees, these are some of the reasons that led Dominican women to undertake the migratory journey:

Yes, he betrayed me… he left me with the wedding dress. That’s why I ran away from my town, because I couldn’t stand this situation. I could have ended up at the psychologist, or worse still… that’s why I ran away… because of depression (M., 50 years old).

Now I’m happy. Before I came here, it was like I was running away from my situation, you know? With three small children, alone, young... so an aunt told me: “go! I’ll watch them (the children) for you... that even if you go away for a year, nothing happens” (M., 37 years old).


The role of the family network and its support during the migratory process are very important and, in some cases, they are elements without which the departure would not even take place: they are the cause of the departure, they are the ones that make it logistically possible to move, they determine the reception network within the country of arrival.

Researcher: Did you arrive alone in Madrid?
Yes alone. I had my whole family here. My grandmother, my grandfather, my aunts... only my mother remained there, with my children (C., 42 years old).

Usually, the decision to leave and move to a new country must be attributed to a series of contributing factors, difficult to isolate. From the interviews carried out, some possible push factors emerged: the job insecurity in the starting context, the political crisis that was going on throughout the country (serious cases of corruption) and the lack of social security in the land of origin (many respondents reported the high crime rates presently).

Researcher: And what don’t you miss from the Dominican Republic?
The crisis! And the delinquency! That’s why I’m afraid to leave (to go back there). Here we work a lot, many efforts, and sacrifices outside your country to live in peace... and then you cannot live in peace over there. Impossible. At least here it is different. This is a very safe country, you can go around with your smartphone, with your money, as you want, and nothing happens to you. Here in Spain, there is more security (C., 42 years old).

While on the one hand there are numerous elements that push from the context of origin, at the same time, there are as many pull factors within the Spanish reality, highly attractive. In fact, despite some research criticizing the subdivision and interaction between push and pull factors (Castles, Miller, 2012) these dynamics appear clearly confirmed by the case studied. From the interviews, above all four emerge. Surely the ease with which Dominican migrants could enter Spain until 1993 without a tourist visa and even subsequently not encounter excessive difficulties to enter Spanish territory as tourists, and then stop beyond the established limit. Another point not to be underestimated is the linguistic commonality and the evident religious and cultural closeness. A third point is expressed in the Spanish market’s requests for unskilled or semi-skilled and above all low-cost labour. Last but not least is the role played by the large family network present in the destination country. The first migrants act as an attractive point for new individuals arriving on Spanish soil. A sort of “migratory chain” is created through which the present migrant community is expanding more and more. These perspectives demonstrate that the decision to emigrate does not take place in a “vacuum of social relations” (Ambrosini, 1999, p. 30). In the Dominican case, emigration to Spain essentially takes place due to the presence of family structures on the spot which had already been established in the 1980s, from the first ones to arrive on Iberian soil. In this context, the interviewees highlighted that the role of compatriots was a vector which also facilitated the transmission of requests from the Spanish labour market. The need for housekeepers, care and assistance workers was heard of by women thanks to the information transmitted by the Dominicans already present in Madrid. The destination of Spain and especially of Madrid, became the ideal landing place between the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s. This period coincides, on the one hand with a profound economic crisis in the Dominican Republic, and on the other with specific socio-economic reasons for the Spanish area.

In the first place, the presence in the Dominican Republic of the airline “Iberia” and its staff residing in the country determined a working circuit essentially based on the domestic sector. During their working stay in the Dominican Republic, the members of the Spanish airline hired housekeepers. These maids then followed the employers to Spain, once they had finished their duties on Dominican soil and who, convinced by the modest economic demands of the women, were willing to continue the working relationship with their criadas in Europe as well (Abreu Van-Grieken, 2010, p. 64).

A second reason was determined by a positive economic situation that Spain went through especially between 1985 and 1991, when, starting from its accession to the European Union (1986), a series of economic stimuli was induced which concretized their development with the assignment and holding of some major events in the early 90s (Romero Valiente, 2003, p. 149). The Olympic Games in Barcelona and the Universal Exposition in Seville in 1992 were the culmination of a similar development that led to an economic impact and a demand for services. In this context, the increased demand for available and cheap female labour took place in Spain. The collateral causes of this phenomenon were linked to the socio-demographic evolutions of the country itself: the increase in salaries and living standards, the greater integration of Spanish women into the labour market, the aging of the population determined a growing demand for care and domestic services.

Then there is a rather singular case that concerns, in particular, the economic-professional relations between Spain and the Dominican Republic. In the second half of the 1980s, an international mobility was established, concentrated in the professional field of dentistry. Thanks to an international agreement between the university systems of the two countries which guaranteed considerable facilitations to the mutual homologation of qualifications, many Spanish and Dominican doctors emigrated to request the conversion of their degree. On that occasion, contact with Spanish professionals led Dominican doctors to settle permanently in Spain and to open their own practice there. In fact, the occasion was tempting: Spanish fees and salaries were at a much higher level than those of the Dominican Republic. The lowering of the economic demands on the services offered by Dominican dentists caused a collapse in sector prices which forced the Colegio de Odontologos de España to take drastic measures, also considering a review of previous international agreements (Abreu Van-Grieken, 2010, p. 64). It is true that this type of migration was not as numerous as that of women employed in domestic labour market. In fact, in the following years there is a transition from a negligible migration, characterized by students, professionals and intellectuals, to a “massive” migration led by women employed in certain work sectors and coming from the poorest areas of the south-west of the Dominican Republic. They came mainly from the Vicente Noble, in the province of Barahona, one of the most peripheral areas of Dominican society:

Because the problem was that the people who migrated to Spain, at that time, were from Vicente Noble. And do you know what? Dominican women are really very brave! Get out of your little town, leave the rural area, that you have never even gone to the Capital [Santo Domingo] and find yourself in the Capital of Spain… Madrid! A big change! At that time, it was like this… they had to take training courses, teach them how houses worked... how appliances worked, everything. Because there was none of this in Vicente Noble. They had to be taught everything. For example, before, now not anymore, but before the Spanish housewives waxed the floor with a sponge and on their knees. Here you are. Putting a Dominican on her knees to do this? Was terrible, they didn’t understand. Very different habits. For them it was something humiliating (Dominican Embassy in Madrid).

Vicente Noble’s women arrived in Madrid concentrating in the west of the city, in the hamlets of Pozuelo and, above all, of Aravaca. Here, the Dominican female workforce almost monopolized the private domestic service sector. It could be estimated that 80% of it was covered by those women coming from the Caribbean southwest. It is not strange that Aravaca had such attractive potential for them. The urban centers of the west and north-west of Madrid were in fact made up of a population that had moved from the center to the suburbs in recent years. This was a recently established area, where the small and middle bourgeoisie of Madrid had taken refuge to improve their quality of life, getting away from the stress and confusion of the metropolitan area. The search for a higher lifestyle is also reflected in the demand for domestic services. Dominican women went to cover a similar demand for low-skilled labour, willing to accept a low wage and have high working flexibility. In fact, the Dominican workers had only two free days, Thursday and Sunday afternoons, while for the rest, a total commitment was required, even 24 hours a day. In the little free time available, the migrants gathered in the main square of Aravaca, Plaza de la Corona Boreal, which the women called Plaza de la Solidaridad. The square became an attractive pole not only for the Dominican maids of Aravaca, but also for their relatives and friends. It was a bridge between the two countries, a point of contact between the latest arrivals and the Dominican migrant community already present in the territory. Every Thursday and Sunday, between 200 and 500 people gathered in the Plaza de la Corona Boreal from all districts of Madrid. It was a special appointment, in which to speak, discuss, inquire about events and life in the Dominican Republic; it was a way to be updated, to stay in touch with one’s country even thousands of miles away (Herranz Gómez, 1997, p. 75). The extremist fringes of the Spanish right, however, had a very different perspective.

Chronicle of a death foretold. Remembering Spain’s first official hate crime: the case of Lucrecia Perez Matos

The situation in Aravaca, previously outlined, is very well exposed in the words of the Dominican diplomats:

At that time there were many clashes. Aravaca is a neighborhood of rich people. And those rich people needed women for housework and that’s why there were so many Dominican women working as maids over there. Hence, [Aravaca] became a center of attraction for Dominicans. There were few places to congregate, so since there were so many women working there, the Dominicans spent time in the Aravaca Square. People came from all over Madrid, relatives came, to talk, to be together and this caused a great tension, with the police and with the complaints of the residents. Imagine... so many Dominicans, all together. Being together, living on the street, talking loudly, making a bit of a mess [...] and this produced many inconveniences (Dominican Embassy in Madrid).

The newspaper “El Pais” reported these statements on March 16, 2009: “the residents liked to keep them at home as maids, they were serious and affectionate, but they didn’t want to see them on the streets” (“El Pais” newspaper, 16 march 2009). The article described the situation that had been forming in Aravaca in the early 1990s when a condition of inter-ethnic tension took shape in the western suburbs of Madrid. The climate of conflict had been brewing for several months now. The presence of the Dominican community in a society such as the Spanish one, not yet prepared to welcome the complexity of the migration flows, generated a situation of friction and confrontation. A similar reality came to the fore, also affecting the public authority, when it was too late. After all, it all started with small episodes. The Madrid City Hall had denied Dominican immigrants their own space in the Cultural Center of the City. The Dominicans’ requests to have a recognized place where they could meet were systematically precluded, leaving them no alternative but to congregate on the street, in the Plaza de la Corona Boreal in Aravaca (Romero Álvarez, 2018).

In October 1992, however, on an alleged report from residents, the municipal police began to carry out systematic checks, asking for documents from Dominican migrants, entering the premises they frequented and intervening in any place where the presence of this community was evident. The intervention measures implemented by the police were so intrusive and disproportionate as to provoke in the Dominican diaspora a feeling of indignation which resulted in a spontaneous uprising which then degenerated into clashes and arrests (Ibarra, 2003, pp. 115-116). Racist and xenophobic groups took advantage of the situation, fuelling this conflict and thus converting these neighbourhood tensions into a truly national case. Anonymous flyers urged the Spanish population to take to the streets to protest against the presence of the Dominicans. The same newspapers of the time reported on their pages that:

Aravaca is a time bomb. Day by day the rejection of the massive presence of Dominican immigrants increases. Some attribute all evils to them: prostitution, drugs, quarrels, filth. Others propose solutions: a meeting center for the Caribbean community. Dominicans are fed up with police persecution and to be treated like criminals. Yesterday, the incursion of various agents into a bar to ask for documents, provoked a spontaneous demonstration (“El Pais” newspaper, 23 october 1992).

The situation got worse day by day, so much so that in early November, there were sensational cases of clashes between the municipal guard and Dominican women.

Yesterday, two hundred immigrants from the Dominican Republic threw stones at the policemen who wanted to arrest two undocumented women […] Police report that they left - with eight vehicles damaged and four officers injured - to “avoid greater evils”. But the Caribbean workers counter, claiming that they were heavily provoked by the police […] “It was six in the afternoon. We were in the square, quiet, talking about our things, when two policemen provoked us and asked for our documents. At that point, we almost all ran away but they managed to catch two of us and pushed them into the car to take them to the barracks. When we realized, we got in the middle, in front of the car to prevent all this and we started to hit him” (“El Pais” newspaper, 2 november 1992).

The situation in Aravaca was boiling and soon resulted in the first racist crime in Spain. For public opinion up until the murder of Lucrecia Perez Matos, racist crimes and attacks perpetuated by neo-Nazis gangs were simply part of urban delinquency.

Lucrecia came to Spain trying to make a dream come true. Inside her suitcase there was only one wish: achieve better living conditions for herself and her family (Ibarra, 2003, p. 113). But let’s take a step back: who was Lucrecia Perez Matos? In 1992, all of Spain knew who she was.

“Lucrecia Perez Matos, a woman with dark skin, curly hair, full lips and deep eyes” (Ibarra, 2003, p. 114). She was a 33-year-old Dominican woman who arrived in Spain in 1992 with a single dream: help her family, buy a house and be able to pay a good education for her daughter Kenya. Lucrecia was born in Vicente Noble, a small town in the province of Barahona, one of the poorest areas in the Dominican Republic. It was four in the afternoon in Vicente Noble when Victor Trinidad Carbajal, Lucrecia’s husband, received the sad news:

I have not been able to say goodbye. When she left for Spain, she had everything ready. She was supposed to leave on a Tuesday, but she left a day earlier because the woman who allegedly smuggled her into Spain had arrived a day earlier. Then he took the half million of pesetas she had requested for the trip and quickly took it away. That day, when I got home, she was already gone. I was sad but I thought maybe it was better this way (Calvo Buezas, 1993, p. 41).

They never got to say goodbye to her for the last time. That day, in fact, the husband was working in the fields and the daughter, as usual, was at school.

Arriving in Spain, she found a job as housekeeper with an upper-class family in Aravaca, the wealthy neighbourhood on the outskirts of Madrid. The impact of Madrid must have been very severe. As for a lot of immigrant people, the insertion in the new context could be conditioned by a state of mind of fear, of sadness for the separation from the family, even from guilt for having to leave their children (Sayad, 2002). In fact, this was the situation for Lucrecia. She was fired after just 20 days. The employer said that she fired her because she was ill and just no use at all. She didn’t know what a faucet was, or a bathtub, or an elevator (Ibarra, 2003, p. 114). Fatigued by the challenges of migration, tired of the long transnational journey, oppressed by the sadness and melancholy, Lucrecia therefore had no choice but to take refuge in an abandoned nightclub, the “Four Roses” in Aravaca, where many immigrants used to gather every evening to spend the night. The four killers knew this well.

It was 9 pm on November 13, 1992. Lucrecia was eating hot soup by candlelight with other compatriots when a gang of neo-Nazis led by an off-duty civil guard attacked the nightclub. At that time, the building was occupied by about thirty Dominicans. One of them, seeing the four black-clad men enter, threw himself on the ground, involuntarily extinguishing the candle that illuminated the room (Calvo Buezas, 1993, p. 10). The sentence that nailed Luis Merino Pérez (25 years), Javier Quílez Martínez (16 years), Felipe Carlos Martín Bravo (16 years) and Víctor Flores Reviejo reports that Merino Pérez, the Spanish civil guard, took up his service pistol and, in shooting position, fired four times. Two bullets hit Lucrecia. One landed on the leg of César Augusto Vargas, a 36-year-old Dominican man, and the other got stuck in a wall of the nightclub. One of the three teenagers involved reported that when they fled after the crime, Merino Pérez said almost proudly: “Don’t imagine what we did, there were shots. You’ll find out tomorrow in the newspapers!” (Ibarra, 2003, pp. 119-120). Their target was not Lucrecia. “Their target was any immigrant who had the same skin colour as Lucrecia. They simply killed her because she was an immigrant, poor and black: it was the first officially recognized xenophobic murder in Spain” (Ibarra, 2003, pp. 119-120).

In Spain, xenophobic reaction against immigrants had never gone so far as murder and the community was outraged. The bullets that Lucrecia received also hit the conscience of the Madrid society. In general, Spain was little used to the phenomenon of immigration and to dark-skinned workers with a South American accent. Democratic political parties condemned the crime and on November 16, the Madrid Assembly unanimously approved a declaration against xenophobia and racism (Ibarra, 2003, p. 120). The case of Lucrecia Perez had a great social and media impact and was decisive for recognizing the need to reform the Ley de Extranjeria. From that moment, “Lucrecia Perez Matos stopped being a simple immigrant and transfigured into a martyr” (Ibarra, 2003, p. 121).

Since Lucrecia died, something has changed […] She was killed by a policeman here in Spain... because he was a racist! That death marked us, made us think and reflect... us, the Latins [...] It was an important case. Imagine that the Spanish government also helped that girl’s family a lot. Everyone dealt with that tragedy (M., 50 years old).

With part of the compensation money for the death of his wife, Lucrecia’s husband managed to buy a house for his daughter Kenya. “The house that Lucrecia dreamed of when she came to Spain. A dream that came true, even if, to succeed, Lucrecia lost her life, victim of a murderer on a cold autumn night” (Ibarra, 2003, p. 123).

Lucrecia’s death conditioned the subsequent behaviour and choices of the Spanish authorities. The finding of the enormous increase in illegal Dominican immigration and the great media and social impact that the murder of Aravaca had, with the condemnation of the racist cells present in Spanish society, prompted the Government to review the international agreement on entry visas of 1966 with the Dominican Republic. Since 1993, most people from the Dominican Republic have come through family reunification. A similar institution was favoured by the state authorities, which, in order to induce greater stabilization and normalization of flows, facilitated the obtaining of Spanish nationality.

Conclusions: against oblivion

Exactly thirty years ago this heinous crime was perpetuated: the first official hate crime in Spain. Remembering and bringing to light the case of Lucrecia Perez Matos it is essential, imperative and takes on an important significance today more than ever. Because within this story lies the story of our nations which suddenly changed from emigration countries to immigration countries. The killing of Lucrecia brought the themes of discrimination, hate and violence connected to migratory flows to the floor. And even if her murder didn’t stop racism, it surely educated the country of its existence. Thirty years after the brutal event, her name has become a symbol of the fight against racism and the exclusion and in defense of the human rights. Professor Calvo Buezas asks himself: “why has the murder of a person gained so much public relevance, when so many crimes are committed annually? And then it is a poor, foreign, illegal, black woman. How come?” (Calvo Buezas, 2013, p. 85).

These story of prejudice and disdain against a migrant worker is emblematic because it presents several closely connected intersections such as gender, ethnicity, class, so interconnected as to become imperceptible, invisible (Campani, 2000). Such intersectionalities must be problematized if we want to try to reduce the systems of inequality in our time that cause unique dynamics and dangerous effects. These overlapping phenomena are often difficult to distinguish in many cases, since one motivates and triggers the other (Bell Hooks, 1998, p. 39).

For the initiation of a process of cultural regeneration, we must act in a deconstructionist way towards any forms of discrimination and to the ideological construct that assigns a position of power over others based on certain characteristics and attributes (Ulivieri, 2017, p. 14). This case helps us to discover, in dramatic form, that the real consequences of certain attitudes, prejudices and behaviours can turn into real tragedies. They can lay the foundations for a subculture of intolerance, hatred and violence. A subculture in which the “Other” is treated and considered as “a non-person” (Dal Lago, 1999). For this reason, we need to think towards an educational approach inspired by the pedagogy of differences aimed at overcoming the ideological “isms”, the culture of narcissism and individualism, the indifference towards others and the closure towards every form of expression of human experience (Lopez, 2018, p. 10).

Exactly thirty years have passed since the tragic death of Lucrecia but the educational issues contained in her history still question us closely. These events are not so far from our present. Coexistence with “others” can generate conflicts, tensions and intolerances within the community. Racism has not disappeared but has evolved taking on different forms and modalities: “racism is complex, contradictory and fast-changing: it follows that antiracism must be equally dynamic” (Gillborn, 2006, p. 14). This is why, aware of these risks, it is necessary to invest more in educational accompaniment. The reference criteria and tools of intercultural pedagogy (Pinto Minerva, 2002) and Critical Race Theory (Ladson-Billings, 2005) can show us the way to welcoming differences and pluralism, to create a constructive intercultural dialogue marked by respect, tolerance and active listening, to contrast close-minded, stereotyped and racist thinking, to achieve a social change based in equality, inclusion, and equity (Lorenzini, 2019, p. 260).

These important issues represent a challenge for education today and, as the Aravaca crime shows us, if they are not approached with a critical and rigorous attitude, can become an obstacle to the development of civil, democratic and respectful communities (Vaccarelli, 2008). Today more than ever, in a fragmented world of violence and intolerance there is a need to reconstruct the sense of belonging through a process of universalism and a “common humanity” (Loiodice, 2017, p. 22).


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The author

Giada Prisco (, PhD, is researcher (RtD A) in general and social pedagogy at Department of Education, Languages, Intercultures, Literatures and Psychology of University of Florence. Managing Editor of “Rivista Italiana di Educazione Familiare” (RIEF), her research and studies’ main areas are intercultural pedagogy, immigrant families and adolescence issues with a particular focus on gender studies. She has also recently investigated issues related to ecological transition and sustainable development.