Anthropologist Receives NSF Grant for Ethnographic Study in Italy

Elizabeth Krause
Thursday, July 12, 2012

Beginning this summer Krause will conduct qualitative research on how families transform and cope in the context of transnational capitalism and immigration. The Province of Prato (Italy), a historic textile district known for its Made in Italy "brand," hosts one of Europe's largest overseas Chinese communities. 

Krause's research will examine instances where Chinese workers in the textile industry encounter state officials concerning workplace health and safety conditions; the health and well-being of area residents; and the practice of sending of Chinese children back to China to be cared for by relatives. This research will investigate how family arrangements have shifted as a result of economic, political, and social transformations, thereby illuminating the cultural logics and values that emerge from encounters between workers and state institutions.

Collaboration with IRIS, a Prato-based research institute, will take place at all levels: research design, data collection, data analysis, writing, and policy-making.  A training component focuses on developing systematic approaches to qualitative data analysis, and findings will be disseminated through academic and public outlets. Contributions will also be made to an urban diversity management plan in the province. Research results will deepen understandings of emerging values and increase the possibilities for well-being in the context of globalization and immigration. 

Krause is affiliated with the UMass Amherst Center for Research on Families and has been a Family Research Scholar. The center aims to:

  • increase support for research on family issues
  • build a multidisciplinary community of researchers who address issues relevant to families
  • connect national and internationally prominent family researchers with faculty and students
  • provide training and consultation in advanced data analysis methods and to disseminate family research findings.