‘Caravan wives’ and ‘decent girls’: Gypsy-Traveller women's perceptions of gender, culture and morality in the North of England

CASEY, Rionach (2014). ‘Caravan wives’ and ‘decent girls’: Gypsy-Traveller women's perceptions of gender, culture and morality in the North of England. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 16 (7), 806-819.

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Link to published version:: 10.1080/13691058.2014.911961

Abstract

This paper examines the beliefs and practices that constitute gender among Gypsy-Traveller women and then attempts to discern the consequences that flow from these. It analyses gender ideology and expectations among women and the shared investment in the moral identity attached to being a good Gypsy-Traveller wife. The paper argues that 'Gypsy-Traveller woman' cannot be understood as an identity that stands apart from gender and racial oppression. It is within this context that the tension between change and permanence in gender relations is played out. It argues that the maintenance of cultural taboos embodied and symbolised in the surveillance of womens' bodies is an important issue that problematises the construction of Gypsy-Traveller women. It posits that the appeal to morality may represent as much an avoidance of anxiety as a defence of marked gendered divisions within Gypsy-Traveller society. The paper suggests that the demands of cultural survival play a significant role in framing the degree to which women are willing or able to challenge the status quo.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Built Environment Division Research Group
Identification Number: 10.1080/13691058.2014.911961
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2014 14:31
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2015 14:25
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8924

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