“Everything Happens Spontaneously Here”: A Case Study on Romani Communities Living in Mersin

Author/s: Neriman Açıkalın, Burak Şahin

DOI: 10.16917/sd.11769

OnlineFirst published on September 20, 2016

Year: 2016 Vol: 36 Number: 1

Abstract

Throughout history, Romani communities have been perceived as uncanny and marginal, people who have been perpetually exposed to discrimination and stigmatization. Because of the exclusion and isolation that Romani communities have faced, they carry this disadvantaged status with them. No matter where the Romani people live, marginalization and deficient vertical mobility remain common problems. This study examines the extent to which Romani people living in Mersin “get a share” of these problems. Demographic and sociologic information was collected from the quarters densely populated by Romani people. Participants were interviewed, administered a questionnaire, and took part in a focus group. From the data received, it was ascertained that Romani people are rendered an ethno-racial islet. Their attendance in school is insufficient and educational background enabling their social mobility is also inadequate. Employment opportunities tend to be irregular, offer poor compensation, and can often be life-threatening. Because their disadvantaged statues cannot be unraveled from this current generation, an intergenerational cycle continues to occur between them. Discriminative attitudes of non-Romani people toward Romani people keep them deeply embedded in poverty and marginality.

Keywords
Romani people • Social stratification • Social closure • Otherness

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