Bhopal, Kalwant and Myers, Martin
Insiders, outsiders and others: gypsies and identity,
Hatfield, UK, University of Hertfordshire Press, 256pp.
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The authors offer an account of the formation of Gypsy Identities. The authors argue that although Gypsies are recognisable figures within both rural and urban landscapes, the representations that are made of them tend to reflect an imaginary idea of the Gypsy, which in general, is configured from a non-Gypsy perspective. On the one hand the idea of the Gypsy is romanticised and exotic and on the other it is associated with dirt, idleness and disruption. Both these stereotypes contribute to the negative ways in which Gypsies are seen and have long been used to disadvantage Gypsy communities. The authors apply theoretical ideas about the 'stranger' in society to questions of social positioning of Gypsies. In considering how 'otherness' is created , they examine how 'white' culture differentiates itself and where understandings of Gypsy identity fall within 'whiteness'.
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