Myers, Martin, Bhopal, Kalwant and McGhee, Derek
Gypsy and traveller families in West Sussex: Safety, community and identity.
In, The 38th World Congress of International Institute of Sociology Conference, Budapest, Hungary,
26 - 29 Jun 2008.
Full text not available from this repository.
How far do Gypsy, Roma and Traveller see educational interventions as an external attempt to change them, and how far do they see them as a tool to achieve their own aspirations? This paper will examine some preliminary findings from a study carried out in one local authority in England to examine and assess the role and effectiveness of the Traveller Education Service (TES). The research is based on qualitative in-depth interviews with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) and with members of the TES and members of the Ethnic Minority Achievement Service. The interviews were tape-recorded and the data transcribed. The families who participated in the research were selected by the TES for interview. All of the interviews took place in the homes of the respondents and for some interviews the respondents wanted a member of the TES to be present. Our preliminary findings indicate that families feel the TES are a useful service and it is because of their relationship with the TES that they send their children to school. They also indicate that they want their children to go to school as long as they feel their children will be safe and looked after. Our research also revealed there are differing meanings of the term ‘community’ in relation to how GRT families live their lives. This paper will attempt to shed light on how GRT families view the role of the TES, their children’s education and how definitions of ‘community’ fit into these meanings and how identities for GRT parents and children, and their local understandings of the global context are negotiated and re-negotiated within the context of different communities.
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