Alessandro Modanesi



I obtained a BA in Political Sciences at the University of Viterbo in 2007. In  2010 I obtained a MA in European Union Governance from the University of Hull. In 2011 I moved to Leeds to study a MA in Social Research, which I completed in 2012. I am currently a doctoral researcher in the Centre for International Research on Care, Labour and Equalities.

What motivated me to undertake PhD study?

I understood that I wanted to undertake a PHD study after finishing my MA in European Union Governance in Hull. However, unsure about the topic I decided to study a MA in Social Research at the University of Leeds. During this period I became interested in researching how care for elderly people is provided in Italy and other countries.

What makes me passionate about my subject?

Once I have completed my PHD I would like to pursue a career as an academic researcher.

Research interests

This research project focuses on Italian families who employs migrant eldercare assistants. In the last two decades, the convergence of different trends including an ageing population, the increased participation of Italian women in the labour market and low fertility rates, has hastened a shortage in the provision of care towards the vulnerable members of the family, in particular towards elderly people (Bettio et al. 2006). This shortage of care has lately been covered by migrant care workers (Cingolani and Piperno, 2005; Marin and Serban, 2008; Catanzaro and Colombo 2009; Piperno, 2011). Migrant eldercare assistants have become a common phenomenon throughout Italy, this has led some authors to state that a transition from a family to a migrant-in-the-family model of care has occurred (Bettio et al., 2006).

This study has three aims: to explore how the members of Italian families negotiate caring responsibilities, in particular how they negotiate the employment of migrant eldercare assistants; to explore the role and identity of Italian women within families who employ migrant eldercare assistants; and to explore the relationship between employers and migrant eldercare assistants, particularly how they negotiate the division of caring tasks and caring responsibilities.

In order to address the aims of this study, the researcher will explore the experiences of ten Italian families who have employed a migrant eldercare assistant. Each of these families will be considered as a case study, for this reason it is possible to state that the research adopts a multiple case study strategy (Yin, 2009). Within each case study, interviews will be conducted with the members of the family and the migrant eldercare assistants.

The fieldwork of this research will be conducted in the Italian region of Lazio (Central Italy) over a period of one year commencing from October 2014.