Gypsy-travellers and welfare professional discourse : on individualization and social integration

POWELL, Ryan (2011). Gypsy-travellers and welfare professional discourse : on individualization and social integration. Antipode, 43 (2), 471-493.

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This paper examines the subtle ways in which welfare professionals in the UK construct Gypsy culture as subordinate to the dominant Western concept of “civilization”. Qualitative empirical evidence is presented to show how notions of a resistance to processes of individualization and social integration—which draw on conflicting interpretations of childhood and a perceived lack of aspiration among Gypsy-Travellers—are seen as legitimate grounds for state and social welfare intervention. The paper argues that a strong group orientation and a more marked gendered division of labour are constructed as being at odds with these dominant social processes. It is posited that the “civilizing” project against Gypsy-Travellers ignores cultural norms and values resulting in the perception that they are undeserving. The paper suggests that theoretical accounts of social processes at a society wide level require revision in order to understand their varying impact on peripheral minorities in specific spaces.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research
Identification Number:
Page Range: 471-493
Depositing User: Hilary Ridgway
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2012 11:22
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 14:22

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