A question of identity: the social exclusion of housed gypsies and travellers

Greenfields, Margaret and Smith, David Martin (2010) A question of identity: the social exclusion of housed gypsies and travellers. Research Policy & Planning, 28 (3). ISSN 0264-519X

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Abstract

This article draws upon a series of survey-based and qualitative studies in the UK to examine the experiences of Gypsies and Travellers resident in ‘bricks and mortar’ accommodation. Many reported experiences of racial discrimination and being ‘othered’ by the surrounding population and by providers of public services. Despite sharing spatial proximity in often deprived locales of social housing, social relations with neighbours commonly displayed a notable degree of social distance. However, recourse to social networks which, in the absence of appropriate formal support mechanisms, provide important informal sources of support and a means of maintaining cultural identities helps to offset some of the difficulties associated with housing. Respondents frequently dwelt on the strength of their identity as a Gypsy/Traveller as a source of strength in a hostile environment and as a way of maintaining a boundary in relation to mainstream (sedentary) society, albeit often at the expense of developing close inter-ethnic/community relationships. Policy implications include the need for local authorities and other agencies to engage meaningfully with Gypsies and Travellers in housing, many of whom perceive themselves as ‘officially’ de-racialised once not living in caravans, and to recognise the particular difficulties experienced by many Gypsies and Travellers in housing.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: ?? BucksNewUniversity ??
Depositing User: ULCC Admin
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2012 09:54
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2017 19:19
URI: http://bucks.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/9729

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