Accepted Paper:

Home encounter as state act: Romanian Roma new migrant mothers negotiating rights of residence  

Author:

Rachel Humphris (Queen Mary, University of London)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores how assessments of good motherhood become crucial to Romanian Roma ability to 'make place' in the UK. The home encounter as a private site of value-exchange is presented as a public 'state act' determining access to membership.

Paper long abstract:

This paper explores how assessments of good motherhood become crucial to Romanian Roma families and their ability to 'make place' in the UK. The paper is based on ethnographic fieldwork living with three families between January 2013 and March 2014, marking the shift in labour market regulations and the end of UK transitional controls for Romanians in January 2014. Through mapping families' networks and connections, I identify mothers' encounters in the home with state actors whose duties stemmed from safeguarding children define their access to the state.

Tensions and negotiations emerged through perceptions and expectations surrounding toys, child development and 'healthy food'. Different notions of the public and private space are mobilised through the bureaucratic gaze with repercussions for fixing families, denoting their deservingness and making decisions regarding the form and manner of formal or informal support and resources they offer.

The home encounter as a private site of value-exchange (Skeggs 2004) is presented as a public 'state act' (Bourdieu 2012; Dubois 2010; Thelen 2014) determining access to membership and welfare resources. In addition, blurring boundaries between welfare regulations and immigration control mean that these actors' seemingly small decisions have far-reaching consequences.

Panel P115
Raising Europe: managing parents and the production of good citizens