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Accepted Paper:

Roma/Gypsy tradition: a sociocultural capital or a burden?  
Ewa Nowicka (Collegium Civitas)

Paper long abstract:

It is usually stated that Roma/Gypsy tradition culture is a serious burden for the group in contemporary political, economic, and social world. This paper is based on a long field research among Roma/Gypsy communities in Poland and in other Central European countries. It is to show that a majority of traditional Roma/Gypsy culture traits should be treated rather as a social and cultural capital – furnishing a serious assistance in the adaptation to the exigencies of contemporary civilization. Today Roma show how it is possible to be at the same time a traditional Roma and a member of a modern civil society. The features of Roma culture that should be assessed as a source of sociocultural capital are: general adaptability of Roma communities, mobility and a sort of aterritorialism of social solidarity, family and tribe solidarity (in a durkheimian sense). However, I find also traditional cultural elements that are obstacles in Roma/Gypsy advancement in the societies of today, namely: tribal divisions and dichotomisation of we-group versus out-group relations.

Panel W099
Crisis of representation: Irish Travellers and Roma
  Session 1