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					                                   University of Greenwich
                       (M.A.Romani Studies and Social Science)

The Romani Diaspora,social control and the nation-state SOCI0065
                                            and
Romani Studies: Issues of Health, Gender and Ethnicity SOCI0066
                                        2002-2003


Courses Co-ordinator: Prof. T. A. Acton. He will be available for advice and consultation
12-1 on Tuesdays and at other times by appointment in his office (Room B201 in Bronte
Hall, telephone extension 8923).

Level: M   Credit: 20 credits for each course                Subject Group: Sociology

Specific Entry Requirements: Honours degree or advanced standing and Undergraduate
course OSOC0856. Those without OSOC0856 should undertake additional guided
reading.


INTRODUCTION

Some postgraduate students will be taking both of the specialised postgraduate Romani
Studies Courses. During the first Semester, advanced students with some previous
knowledge will be working towards Romani Studies: Issues of Health, Gender and
Ethnicity. During Semester Two Postgraduate Students may work towards either this
course and The Romani Diaspora, social control and the nation-state, although they will
engage in different course-work and receive separate teaching where appropriate. The
tutor and students will agree on a calendar of meetings for delivery of the courses. Those
who have not already taken OSOCO856 or similar are welcome to attend the lectures for
this undergraduate course in Romani Studies.

The individual rationales and aims of the units follow. After that the common assessment
pattern and a list of topics for each unit follows.

The Romani Diaspora, social control and the nation-state:

Rationale
This course examines the social order of a range of historically related ethnic minorities,
known as Gypsies, illustrating the ways in which ethnic and economic factors are linked
in affecting internal and external social control mechanisms and community relations,
and will introduce students to the sociological and social-anthropological literatures
within Romani Studies. The approaches which follow from the study of racism, ethnicity,
nationality and social control will be balanced by both Marxian and Weberian economic
approaches; in particular Weber’s studies of Pariah Groups will be central to the
theoretical underpinning of the course, and the resolution of the traditional problematic
of Romani history which asks why ethnic minorities of partly-nomadic origin should
have so dominated commercial-nomadic niches in industrialising Europe while
remaining socially marginalised.
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Aims
The course will enable graduates and professionals with experience of Gypsy groups to
understand their own experiences within a broader scholarly framework, contrasting the
situation of Romani or Gypsy groups in the industrialised West with those in Eastern
Europe and the Third world.

Learning Outcomes

the end of the course students will:

have consolidated a knowledge and understanding of the main currents in Romani
Studies;

understand the historical processes such as marginalisation and the growth of
nationalism, and the evolution of social institutions which have shaped relationships
between Gypsy groups and host societies;

appreciate diverse and hybrid forms of organisation in Gypsy politics;

understand the complexity which ethnic stereotyping can acquire;

gained a knowledge base for research-based professional involvement with Romani
people.


Romani Studies: Issues of Health, Gender and Ethnicity

Rationale
The purpose of this course is to enable students to examine a number of specific debates
which relate to the health and welfare of a range of historically related ethnic minorities,
known as Gypsies, which illustrate the ways in which ethnic, gender and economic
factors are linked in affecting policy and community relations.

Aims
The course will enable graduates and professionals with experience of Gypsy groups to
understand their own experiences within a broader scholarly framework, contrasting the
situation of Romani or Gypsy groups in the industrialised west with those in Eastern
Europe and the Third world.


Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course students will:

have consolidated a knowledge and understanding of the main currents in Romani
Studies;


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appreciate diverse and hybrid forms of organisation in Gypsy politics;

understand the application of epidemiological reasoning to investigating the impact of
gender, ethnic and other forms of social stratification on health outcomes;

understand the need for critical reflection and research-based holistic professional
practice in community work and the caring professions as they approach Gypsy groups;

understand the impact of gender and ethnicity on health status and outcomes.


FOR BOTH COURSES

Main Learning and Teaching Activities

This course will be taught either by weekly lectures and seminars, or may be offered by
block learning. Block learning will offer guided reading, the marking of additional written
work and attendance on 3 study days, one at the beginning of the course and the other two
near the end.

Assessment Details:

   Methods of         Words       Weighting                       Outline Details
   Assessment         Length         %
 Book Review        1000        10%               Student will be asked to review a selected
                                                  book, agreed with the tutor
 Essay                                            Student will write a theoretical essay from the
                    3000        40%               list below set by the tutor.
                                                  Student will be asked to write a project report.
                    4000        50%
 Project            max.

Questions and Topics must be chosen in consultation with the tutor, and must relate to, and
be discussed in relation to the course for which the student is registered.




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Book Review

Choose a book which reports a single original research study (ie NOT a collection of
essays, and not a single paper in a collection of essays or a journal) and write a brief piece
indicating
(a) The contents of the book (but do not produce a summary)
(b) The intellectual context and theoretical orientation of the author (i.e. who is she/he
against, who is she/he for?)
(c) How far you agree with the main conclusions and why
(d) Whether the book will be useful, and if so, for whom.

Essay Questions

a) Romani Studies: Issues of Health, Gender and Ethnicity

1. Do Gypsies’ cleanliness taboos mean they need a different kind of health promotion?

2. Why has the developing study of Romani health in Britain concentrated on physical
health rather than mental health ?

3. Was Gypsylorism inherently racist ?

4. Discuss the relationship between commercial nomadism and ethnicity.

5. What have been the condition for the emergence of Romani women’s movements?

b) The Romani Diaspora, social control and the nation-state

1. How far has literature by Roma/Travellers been shaped by previous literature by Gaje
about or featuring Roma?

2. If local authority caravan-sites were the "death-knell of the Gypsy way of life", was
the UK government right to repeal the 1968 Caravan Sites Act ?

3. Why do Romanichals not have either bare or phure ?

4. Discuss the consequences of genocidal episodes in European history for Gypsy-Gajo
relationships.

5. Is Pentecostalism a negation of Gypsy culture ?

6. Assess the background to and impact of the 5th World Romani Congress in 2000 in
Prague.


In either course another title may be agreed in advance. with the tutor, but it must be
specific and relate to items covered in the course.




                                              4
PROJECT

Students should write a report on one of the following:

a) "Is Gajo education changing Romani or Traveller culture?"

b) "Can Romani or Traveller organisations affect social policy?"

c) “How are gender relations changing in different Romani or Traveller societies?”

d) “How does globalisation affect Romani political activity?”

e) Another topic, agreed in advance with the unit leader.

This may include a brief field report (not more than 1,000 words) on some public
Gypsy/Traveller event that you have attended (such as a fair, political meeting, religious
meeting, funeral etc.)
NOTE: A long essay is acceptable for this assignment, but a project report can be a more
free and flexible form of writing than an essay; it does not have to be built around a
single argument; it can contain passages of extended description (as in a field report) that
we would frown on in an essay. It can be an assembly of mini-essays and and
descriptions; but if it is, it still needs an overall purpose or theme, which must be made
clear in both introduction, and a conclusion which tells us what the project as a whole
has achieved. If you take advantage of the greater freedom of form in a project report,
then putting in clear sub-headings, and a table of contents if necessary, are important.




TOPICS FOR CONSIDERATION

A) COMMON CORE

1)   How history shaped the racist problematics
2)   The political economy of commercial nomadism
3)   The social functions of art and music
4)   Methodological issues affecting Romani Studies and Research
5)   Effects of globalisation on Roma and Romani studies

B) THE ROMANI DIASPORA, SOCIAL CONTROL AND THE NATION-STATE

6) Law, religion and social regulation: differences between different Romani groups
7) Gypsies and the state in Europe between two genocides
8) Gypsy history and politics in the UK
9) The Development of Gypsy Education
10 ) The politics of language and culture
11) Religion and the Rise of Pentecostalism

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12) Genocide and after: The International Gypsy movement and its future

C) ISSUES OF HEALTH, GENDER AND ETHNICITY

13) Anthropology, ethnography and Gypsylorism: the example of cleanliness taboos
14) Gypsy Health: A research field in the making
15) Gender relations and roles in different Romani societies
16) Racism & Stereotyping: From the "true Gypsy" to the “Traditional Traveller";
Variations in European and other stereotyping of Roma
17) The development of European welfare programmes and their effects on health,
gender and ethnicity.




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