The post-communist ghetto and underclass formations in Romania: (re)producing marginality and strategies of survival among Roma
Paper short abstract:
My paper focuses on an anthropological investigation of the relationship between the post-communist Roma ghetto formation and the institutionalization of a neo-liberal logic and it analyzes the strategies of survival employed by the Roma to deal with increasing marginalization and exclusion.
Paper long abstract:
This paper focuses on an anthropological investigation of the relationship between the post-communist Roma ghetto formation and the institutionalization of a neo-liberal logic in present-day Romania. The expansion of European Union towards East led not only to the establishment of a common European market required by the unfolding logic of trans-national capitalism but also to a new state regime that advanced a neo-liberal agenda concerned with deregulation of economy, extensive privatizations, budgetary discipline, austerity measurements, the replacement of welfare to work-fare, etc. The new capitalist order had a tremendous impact on Roma communities and it generated extensive forms of marginalization and precarization among them. My paper draws on an anthropological fieldwork done in a Roma ghetto from northern Romania and it looks at their life-trajectories marked by de-proletarization after the dissolution of mining industries and their strategies of survival within the ghetto. Constantly threatened with evictions and resettlement by the local authorities, moralized into becoming responsible citizens by the social workers that deal with them - the Roma are creating their own institutions within the ghetto that helps them cope with a society that fails in providing them with viable structures of opportunities. The analysis of the peripherialization of poverty and ghettoization of Roma in post-communist Romania can through a light on the developing of a neo-liberal order and social mechanisms at the periphery of European Union.
The future of class