978-0-900458-75-0 / 9780900458750

Gypsy Politics and Traveller identity


Publisher:University Of Hertfordshire Press



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About the book:

Gypsies in Britain are descendents of people who survived an attempt at genocide in the 16th century. Laws making it a capital crime to be of Romany ethnicity remained on the statute book for two centuries. The British state and people have never apologized for this, never paid reparations - and why should they? Almost every other European state has behaved in the same way. The 1994 Criminal Justice Act is recriminalizing Gypsies. Gypsies may be considered only as a "problem", that a few teachers, council workers and policemen have to accommodate. But it should be considered how and why Gypsy identity has survived many centuries of persecution. Relations with the state and with non-Gypsies have been central to the shaping of the lived identity of Gypsy people. Reaction to Gypsies have been built around the image of them as nomads - even in Eastern Europe where the great majority are not nomads. This book examines how the state deals with Gypsies and travellers, and how they deal with the state. It also provides a comparative study of Gypsy politics in Britain and abroad.

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