The present study assess the role of networks of friends, family members and work colleagues in shaping the migrants’ sense of belonging to Italy. For this study we use data from the 2013 survey carried out by the Regional Observatory for Integration and Multietnicity of Lombardy (Orim) on a sample of 4.000 interviewees with a foreign background. Results show the crucial role of social networks, and particularly of bridging networks in shaping migrants’ sense of belonging. Migrants with a stronger sense of belonging to Italy have a substantial presence of Italian friends in their networks and fully approve social norms typical of the country of immigration.
Keywords: Belonging, social networks, bridging, bonding, migrants, Italy