In the Czech Republic, they call you ‘Mister’ – The Migration of Slovak Roma as a Tactic to Overcome Exclusion
Romani people in an Eastern Slovakian village face many forms of exclusion. Since the collapse of socialism, Roma have become more isolated in the process I call territorialisation, the restriction of people’s mobility. There have been a number of tactics to overcome and/or negotiate exclusion and one’s social status. One of the tactics is migration or, with lowering possibilities to migrate due to diminishing resources, a reference to the migration of someone’s relatives. The paper is based on the interpretation of data from anthropological fieldwork focused on one kinship-related group of Romani people living in a Slovak village and several places in Czech Republic. Migration has been significant for this group of people since the Second World War. In the 1990s not only did migration to the Czech Lands continue but some of them also migrated to Great Britain. Many authors suggest that the motivations for migration have been primarily economic. I try to broaden the scope of motivations and show the complexity of the “reasons to migrate”. Migration can be long-term or short-term; strategies range from finding work, visiting, marrying abroad to claiming asylum. The links between relatives who had migrated and those who had not are the source of the references about the migration experience. I show these references as part of the strategy of advancement in local social structures. This paper was presented at the Workshop on Developments and Patterns of Migration Processes in Central and Eastern Europe, 25 to 27 August 2005, Prague.
The <b>author</b> is a doctoral student at the Institute of Ethnology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague. She can be contacted at <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">hana.synkova(AT)login.cz</a>.
10. 4. 06
Téma: Labour Migration