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NSF Awards CRF Scholar and UMA anthropologist Elizabeth Krause for Research on Chinese Immigration and Family Encounters in Italy

Elizabeth Krause in China

The Center for Research on Families is pleased to announce that Dr. Elizabeth L. Krause, Family Research Scholar 2011-12, has been awarded a 2-year grant from the National Science Foundation in the amount of $164,410. Her project begins this summer and is entitled, “Chinese Immigration and Family Encounters in Italy.”

Krause (professor of anthropology) will conduct qualitative research on how families transform and cope in the context of transnational capitalism and immigration. The Province of Prato (Italy) will serve as an ethnographic laboratory for investigating the conditions of globalization.  Here, a historic textile district known for its Made in Italy "brand" hosts one of Europe's largest overseas Chinese communities.  The 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 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.

 (Photo: Anthropologist Massimo Bressan conducting fieldwork during the Chinese New Year festivities in Prato, Italy, in February 2011)

Collaboration with a Prato-based research institute IRIS 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 of Prato. The results of the research will deepen understandings of emerging values and increase the possibilities for well-being in the context of globalization and immigration. 

For more information on Krause go to: and for more information on her collaborator IRIS go to: