Accepted paper:

Working towards well-being: negotiating well-being in the interactions between services and Roma migrants in Leeds


Marketa Dolezalova (University of Manchester)

Paper short abstract:

Following increase in the number of Roma migrants in Leeds in the last decade a number of services and projects aimed at Roma were established. This paper considers how understandings of well-being are negotiated between services and Roma and the impact of services on well-being of Roma migrants.

Paper long abstract:

This paper draws on ethnographic fieldwork among Czech and Slovak Roma migrants in Leeds and discusses search for a sense of well-being in the dialectics between the material and the intangible. The migration of Roma from Central and Eastern European countries to the UK is part of a wider migration trend in recent decades. Roma are considered to be among the most marginalised groups in Europe. For many Roma, migration to Leeds offers improved financial situation leading to increased material well-being and the possibility of escaping the stigma and discrimination experienced by Roma in many areas of their lives in former Czechoslovakia. Increased mobility of Roma across borders has been accompanied by increased international awareness and attention to the situation of Roma in Central and Eastern Europe. The new visibility of Roma as a group that experiences discrimination and marginalisation has led to the emergence of policies, actors and projects aimed at issues such overcoming poverty, unemployment, or poor health among Roma, and thus towards improving the well-being of Roma. Following the enlargement of the EU, Leeds has received a few thousand of Roma migrants and several services for Roma were established as well as short-term projects aimed at Roma. This paper looks at the mobility of individual Roma and the mobility of funds, concepts, and public and third sector workers, and considers the impact of these services and projects on the well-being of Roma migrants.

panel P51
Mobilities of wellbeing