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Housed Gypsies and Travellers in the UK: Work, exclusion and adaptation

By David M. Smith and Margaret Greenfields


Gypsies and Travellers are one of the most excluded black and minority ethnic (BME) communities in the UK across numerous domains. Despite the increased policy focus on levels of unemployment and economic inactivity among BME groups in recent years, little attention has been paid to the economic position of Gypsies and Travellers, not least because there is a lack of systematic data on the employment status and working patterns of these communities. Few of the programmes set up to tackle unemployment specifically target this population and, anecdotally, a mismatch exists in relation to mainstream back-to-work programmes and community needs. This article considers a series of related studies that explore the accommodation histories and adaptive strategies utilised by housed Gypsies and Travellers across four locations in southern England. One strand of these studies is concerned with employment opportunities and practices following the transition into housing. We draw on these findings to discuss the role of cultural adaptations in mediating the wider socioeconomic context and how recourse to collective responses helps to shape economic and labour market outcomes for members of this group

Topics: H1, HM, HT
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Year: 2012
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