Italians welcoming Ukrainians: meetings, relationships, misunderstandings and conflicts in housing and social integration services


The paper aims to offer a reflection on the theme of welcoming the Different (in this case, the Foreigner who flees from war, the Refugee) and on the related dimensions of hospitality, care and integration, starting from the analysis of the qualitative data emerged in research on the management of the arrival of Ukrainian refugees in the city of Reggio Emilia, carried out in the autumn and winter of 2022-23 through 30 semi-structured interviews at operators (managers, psychologists, linguistic-cultural mediators, educators) of the five largest reception social agencies in the city and 30 biographical interviews with Ukrainian refugees hosted there. A complex, dynamic and partly contradictory picture emerges, in which significant propensities to meet, to offer and receive listening and care, are intertwined with closures, misunderstandings and conflicts attributable above all to cultural differences and superficial mutual knowledge.