Marton Rovid

Sociological approaches to Romani Studies: Patterns of Exclusion, Dilemmas of Inclusion

2 credits, 2020-21 Fall term, Online learning 

The aim of this course is to introduce students to various forms of social exclusion Roma face in the 21st century, and the dilemmas policy-makers, NGOs and activists encounter when promoting the equality of Roma. The course is composed of three parts. First, the debates on ‘Who are the Roma?’ are discussed. Shall the ‘Roma’ be seen as a non-territorial nation, the biggest European minority or as a label referring to diverse ethnic groups or a socio-ethnic class? Theoretical questions of labelling, group-making and self-determination are examined in view of the case of Roma.  The second part discusses the various patterns of exclusion Roma face (in the fields of education, labour market and residence). Debates on the relation between recognition and redistribution, as well as ethnicity and poverty are studied. Furthermore, the applicability of the analytical category of ‘underclass’ to case of Roma is examined. The third part of the course analyses the role of various actors and the dilemmas they face when promoting the participation, equality, and inclusion of Roma. The foremost theories of multiculturalism and the main forms of political autonomy are discussed. Particular attention is paid to the role of NGOs and international organizations in the codification, spread and acceptance of norms in relation to Roma. The challenges and shortcomings of Roma inclusion policies and National Roma Integration Strategies are discussed in depth. The course ends by reflecting on how to tackle enduring form of injustice.