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Gypsies and Travellers

Gypsies and Travellers: Empowerment and inclusion in British society

Joanna Richardson
Andrew Ryder
Copyright Date: 2012
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  • Book Info
    Gypsies and Travellers
    Book Description:

    The eviction at Dale Farm in the UK in 2011 brought the conflicting issues relating to Gypsy and Traveller accommodation to the attention of the world's media. However, as the furore surrounding the eviction has died down, the very pressing issues of accommodation need, inequality of access to education, healthcare and employment, and exclusion from British (and European) society is still very much evident. This topical book examines and debates a range of themes facing Gypsies and Travellers in British society, including health, social policy, employment and education. It also looks at the dilemmas faced in representing disadvantaged minority groups in media and political discourse, theories on power, control and justice and the impact of European initiatives on inclusion. Gypsies and Travellers: Empowerment and inclusion in British society will be of interest to students, academics, policy makers, practitioners, those working in the media, police, education and health services, and of course to Gypsies and Travellers themselves.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-896-7
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. List of figures
    (pp. v-v)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. vi-viii)
    Lord Avebury

    This book appears at a crucial moment. At the time of writing, the progress and modest gains made for Gypsies and Travellers, most notably in the form of increased site provision and levels of social inclusion, appear to be in jeopardy. As this book visibly demonstrates, Gypsies and Travellers remain one of the most excluded minority groups in society, yet it is feared that this situation could be aggravated through cuts in local and national funding, which are seeing the loss and erosion of valuable targeted services for Gypsies and Travellers, most notably in the shrinkage of the national network...

  5. Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-ix)
    Joanna Richardson and Andrew Ryder
  6. Notes on contributors
    (pp. x-xii)
  7. Part One: Context, issues and policy responses

    • ONE Setting the context: Gypsies and Travellers in British society
      (pp. 3-20)
      Joanna Richardson and Andrew Ryder

      The aim of this book is to examine issues that affect Gypsies and Travellers, including accommodation, health, education, social policy, employment and the European Roma framework. It seeks to explore cross-cutting themes of social inclusion, discursive control, media power, representation, empowerment, justice and contested spaces. The book also debates the place of the researcher and asks whether Gypsies and Travellers now have the chance to shape their own destiny according to their aspirations and cultural identity. These are fundamental questions of relevance to us all, for the outcomes will say much about the society we live in.

      The book comes...

    • TWO Accommodation needs and planning issues
      (pp. 21-42)
      Joanna Richardson and Maggie Smith-Bendell

      In the previous context–setting chapter, the issue of accommodation was a focal point. Without access to accommodation, it has been argued, it is extremely difficult for Gypsies and Travellers to access healthcare, employment and education. There are also ramifications for community cohesion and social inclusion of groups that traditionally have been marginalised in society, if they cannot find a settled place to live.

      This chapter takes the issue of accommodation and planning and examines the recent history of planning for sites today, particularly the recent changes in light of Coalition Government planning guidance for Travellers sites, and the raft...

    • THREE Gypsy and Traveller health
      (pp. 43-60)
      Patrice Van Cleemput

      The lack of reliable research evidence on the health of Gypsies and Travellers in the United Kingdom (UK) prior to 2004 had been widely acknowledged in reviews (Hajioff and McKee, 2000; Doyal et al, 2002; Smart et al, 2003; Zeman, 2003). In 2002, Doyal et al’s comprehensive review of studies concerning the health of Gypsies and Travellers in the UK and Ireland reported that there had been no studies that had attempted any systematic comparison of the health status of Gypsies and Travellers with the wider population and that most studies in the review were small scale and anecdotal.


    • FOUR Education, inclusion and government policy
      (pp. 61-82)
      Brian Foster and Sarah Cemlyn

      In this chapter we first outline a model of inclusive practice and the issues and tensions that affect the education of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils. We then review the policies of the previous Labour government towards the education of these communities, and the current policies of the Coalition Government. Our conclusion draws some hope and some trepidation from this review.

      Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate the integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which...

    • FIVE Gypsies and Travellers and social policy: marginality and insignificance. A Case study of Gypsy and Traveller children in care
      (pp. 83-100)
      Dan Allen

      The empowerment and inclusion of Gypsies and Travellers presents a challenge for the implementation of social policy in the pursuit of social equality. While social policy is orientated towards the pursuit of social justice, we know that the discrimination and injustices experienced by many Gypsies and Travellers are socially constructed. Yet, if we emphasise the nature and potential impact of them, we create a discursive conundrum in which the challenges faced by Gypsy and Traveller communities might (incorrectly) be attributed to individual lifestyle choices, rather than to the structural forces that exist around them (this was discussed by Richardson and...

    • SIX Gypsies and Travellers: economic practices, social capital and embeddedness
      (pp. 101-116)
      Margaret Greenfields, Andrew Ryder and David Smith

      As a number of chapters in this volume testify, Gypsies and Travellers are some of the most marginalised minorities in the UK, with an everincreasing weight of evidence highlighting the extreme social exclusion and inequalities experienced by these groups in access to housing, health equity and educational attainment (Crawley,2004; CRE,2006; Cemlyn et al, 2009). However, other than a consideration of the impacts of changing employment opportunities on family life presented within Cemlyn et al (2009), Greenfields (2006) and research undertaken by the authors of this chapter (eg, Smith and Greenfields,2012), the working practices and economic status of Gypsies and Travellers...

  8. Part Two: Empowering Gypsies and Travellers

    • SEVEN Justice and empowerment
      (pp. 119-134)
      Joanna Richardson and Andrew Ryder

      This chapter examines the notions of ‘justice’ and ‘empowerment’ as they relate to Gypsies and Travellers. It aims to provide a theoretical basis on which to understand the ideas. In a time when the Conservative-led Coalition Government aims to empower everyone to take part in a ‘Big Society’ (as discussed in Chapter One, this volume), it is important to assess the extent to which Gypsies and Travellers will be included in this aim.

      Theories of power will provide a framework, and will include the notion of discourse as control (Richardson, 2006a). Within this debate we will examine the extent to...

    • EIGHT Recognising Gypsy, Roma and Traveller history and culture
      (pp. 135-150)
      Thomas Acton and Andrew Ryder

      In 2008, an Early Day Motion was tabled by Julie Morgan MP and 70 other Members of Parliament to encourage recognition of the importance of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller history and culture. This chapter examines the changes that brought history to the fore as a subject within Traveller education and the tensions over the ‘ownership’ of history (from above, below, state, school or community), but argues that in the partnerships between Gypsies, Roma and Travellers (GRT), schools, libraries and other service providers, the Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month (GRTHM) provides a safe place within which critical narratives of the history...

    • NINE Research with and for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers: combining policy, practice and community in action research
      (pp. 151-168)
      Margaret Greenfields and Andrew Ryder

      This chapter engages with both the ethical and practical aspects of undertaking partnership research with members of Gypsy and Traveller communities. It is underpinned by an exposition on the philosophy and methodologies utilised in two key research projects, both of which explicitly sought to utilise participatory methods as a way of increasing the skills base of Gypsy and Traveller research partners as well as ideologically rejecting methodological practices that seek to impose mainstream categories and assumptions on marginalised or excluded peoples (Pollner and Rosenfeld, 2000). In other words, these were projects that sought to ethically research ‘with’ and ‘for’ the...

    • TEN ‘Stamp on the Camps’: the social construction of Gypsies and Travellers in media and political debate
      (pp. 169-186)
      Joanna Richardson and Richard O’Neill

      This chapter examines the circular nature of anti–Gypsy discourse — that it allegedly reflects popular opinion, but also creates folk devils and moral panics (Cohen, 1972) that feed the negative discourse even further. A framework for analysing media representation of Gypsies and Travellers will be discussed, in order to understand the impact that discourse in newspapers, on television and in Westminster can have, and also to attempt to understand why the media reports in such a way. The chapter will focus on two case studies: (a) the ‘Stamp on the Camps’ media campaign in 2005 and (b) the television series...

    • ELEVEN EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies: insights into empowerment and inclusive policy development
      (pp. 187-206)
      Iulius Rostas and Andrew Ryder

      The origins of Roma communities and their arrival in Europe were discussed in Chapter One. It has been estimated that Europe has a Gypsy, Roma and Traveller population of between 10 and 12 million people (Fundamental Rights Agency, 2010). They are Europe’s largest minority ethnic group but their predicament presents one of the greatest challenges to the achievement of European ideals on equality and justice. According to a recent European Parliament report:

      The Roma EU [European Union] citizens are one of the most marginalised groups in the EU, facing deep and intractable social problems related to low levels of education,...

  9. Part Three: Conclusions

    • TWELVE Conclusion and next steps: inclusion, space and empowerment for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers?
      (pp. 209-222)
      Joanna Richardson and Andrew Ryder

      This book set out to examine a range of issues affecting Gypsies and Travellers (such as accommodation, health, education, social policy and employment). Throughout the chapters we explored crosscutting challenges, including social inclusion, discursive control, media power, representation, empowerment, justice and contested spaces. We conducted our analysis in a reflexive way, asking about the place of the researcher (Chapter Nine) and exploring power relationships in the representation of Gypsy and Traveller communities and the issues relating to them (Chapters Seven and Eight). There are a number of ideas weaving in and out of the specific and cross-cutting issues that this...

  10. References
    (pp. 223-248)
  11. Index
    (pp. 249-258)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 259-260)