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‘We Are a Roma Nation' Support for Romani Nationalism amongst Britain’s Romani Populations

Webb, Emily Violet (2017) ‘We Are a Roma Nation' Support for Romani Nationalism amongst Britain’s Romani Populations. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This study is a sociological analysis of Romani nationalism in Britain. It explores the extent to which Britain’s Romanies support, and identify with, the notion of a “Roma Nation”. It is guided by questions regarding how Britain’s Romanies negotiate otherness, home and belonging within the context of increasing Roma migration to Britain. It looks for instances of “groupness” or “collective identity” between previously disconnected Romani populations who have been brought together by migration. Fifty-two Romanies participated in this research. They belong to three waves of Romani diaspora: Romany Gypsies who arrived in Britain in the 15th century; Roma who arrived as refuges in the 1990s; and EU Roma migrants arriving post-2004. The primary aim of this study is to explore their experience of otherness, home and belonging and how their identifications with the Roma Nation are conditioned by their positions and experiences. The participants’ relationships to Britain are associated with both strong desires to belong and/or be recognised, and a bleak reality of exclusion and otherness. In their narratives there is no given homeland to which they all relate and with which they all identify. Roma maintain strong identifications with their countries of birth and Romany Gypsies assert a strong sense of British identity. The study shows that both Roma and Romany Gypsies have little interest in and limited knowledge of, an Indian homeland. The study also highlights the internal boundaries and contradictions that divide Britain’s Romani population. The analysis shows that they remain largely divided by country of origin, national identity, religion and lifestyle. The study concludes by considering the implications of these findings on the prospect of Romani nationalism in Britain.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Roma, Romani, Gypsies, Nationalism, Identity Politics, Diaspora, Whiteness, Multiculturalism, Anti-racism
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Sociology and Social Policy (Leeds)
Depositing User: Miss Emily Violet Webb
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2017 15:02
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2017 15:02
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/17649

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