Roma within Obstructing and Transformative Spaces
Migration Processes and Social Distance in Ethnically Mixed Localities in Romania
The aim of our article is to inquire into the interconnectedness of local social context, mobility processes and social transformations. We argue that migratory patterns of the local Roma population in ethnically mixed communities are shaped by the degree and modes of maintenance of social distance between the Roma and local majority. While social distance can shape the ways migrant networks develop, it also influences the way remittances are invested at home. The analysis focuses on the comparison of two rural communities from Transylvania where we carried out community studies and a household survey which also included attitude questions related to ethnic groups. Our study revealed that the most visible aspect of the local separation is the housing segregation. While this is present in both cases, in one of the villages Roma use their upward mobility to challenge social segregation and to reduce physical distance (i.e. moving inside the village). Here in spite of physical closeness social distance between the majority and Roma remains high. In the other locality the importance of social ties increase during migration and social distance is reduced, while the ethnic groups maintain their relative residential separation.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication, with the work three months after publication simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. This acknowledgement is not automatic, it should be asked from the editors and can usually be obtained one year after its first publication in the journal.