Accepted Paper:

A lost Roma tale: ethnocentric versus xenocentric attitudes in the Gârcini Roma community  


Mihai Burlacu (Transilvania University, Brasov)

Paper short abstract:

This paper presents a study on a Roma community from Braşov County faced with exclusion and political neglect. Based on identifying two types of opposite attitudes (i.e. ethnocentrism and xenocentrism) within the community, I argue that these attitudes are an important aspect for designing future community development projects.

Paper long abstract:

This paper presents an exploratory study on a Roma community from the town of Săcele, Braşov County, Romania. The Gârcini slum, part of the town of Săcele, is now in economical decline. The Roma community from Gârcini numbers 45 families with a total of 309 persons. My research is an exploratory one. In Gârcini, from a total population of 6299 inhabitants, 2256 have a social work file. I wanted to study two opposite attitudes present in Gârcini (i.e. ethnocentrism and xenocentrism), in relation with the processes of exclusion, disconnection and political neglect that is facing this community. The attitudes represent an important aspect of the cultural pattern. The cultural pattern is the fundament for any sustainable community project. At the beginning of the 21st century, in Romania, a number of community development projects on Roma communities failed due to the fact that the cultural pattern wasn't an aspect taken into account by the project designers. Therefore, my hypothesis argues that these dominant attitudes of the group represent an important aspect for the design of sustainable community development projects. This is the largest and most impoverished Roma community from Braşov County and one of the poorest Roma communities from Romania. The Roma community's needs are only partially covered and as a result, any type of successful community development project is of great significance.

Panel IW08
World in Europe