Civilising offensives and ambivalence : the case of British Gypsies

POWELL, Ryan (2007). Civilising offensives and ambivalence : the case of British Gypsies. People, place and policy online, 1 (3).

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This paper utilises Norbert Elias’s theory of the civilizing process to examine British society’s response to Gypsies and explore the perception of this group as in ‘need of corrective treatment’. It demonstrates how state policies towards Gypsies are presented as improving their welfare but are in fact characterised by ambivalence. It is argued that mechanisms employed with the expressed goal of ‘civilising’ behaviour actually exhibitdecivilising elements in terms of their effect upon Gypsy culture. The paper concludes by pointing to the concept of a civilising offensive, a deliberate civilising project targeting Gypsies, as a means of elucidating the oppressive and damaging nature of policies towards them and their cultural continuity.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research
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Depositing User: Hilary Ridgway
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2014 09:32
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 08:01

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