The project addresses the issue of spatialization and racialization of social exclusion as it is manifested in the social and cultural formation of “Gypsy ghettos” in Romania viewed in the broader context of the European Union. The motivation to study this topic is based on the recognition that during the last two decades marked by privatization, pauperization and institutional discrimination against Roma, but as well as by the lack of governmental policies on the domain of public housing, a large number of disadvantaged Roma communities in urban areas of Romania (but as well as in several other EU member states) experienced residential segregation/ ghettoization and related sub-standard housing conditions as a form of social exclusion. Parallel with this, while concentrated slum-areas within the cities or at their outskirts were conceived as “Gypsy neighborhoods”, the dominant public and everyday discourses justified their formation by making appeal to explanations based on anti-Gypsy racism. By this project we aim at deconstructing and reconstructing the controversial term of “Gypsy ghetto” connecting it to other concepts, such as disadvantaged and hyper-segregated housing areas that might acquire racial meanings regardless of the ethnic self-identification of its tenants. Our analysis focuses on the role that different actors and forces play in the spatial and symbolic construction of the “Gypsy ghetto”, it emphasizes its multiple meanings, variations and dynamics, and it interprets the material and symbolic work of social exclusion in terms of multiple deprivations and lack of opportunity to belong to the mainstream societal life.

SPAREX_project description