Social Mobility and the Ambiguous Autonomy of Roma Migration
Since the institutionalisation of the ‘nomads camp’ as housing policy for the Roma in Italy, various securitising discourses have ambiguously incorporated the motifs of mobility and stasis to construct Roma as a highly mobile – hence potentially ubiquitous – threat, while deploring their perceived social and cultural immobility through the tropes of their unwillingness to ‘integrate’ or to become ‘civilised’. Against the backdrop of these securitising narratives surrounding Roma (im)mobility, the article will bring to the fore the lived experiences of movement of two Roma women currently living in Rome; as they try to navigate economic hardship, the (im)mobility and pressures imposed by states’ or local authorities’ regulations of their lives, and personal contingencies, they contest, side-track or submit to the regimes of (im)mobility imposed on them. Applying a transnational and intergenerational lens to their social mobility projects contributes to nuance the autonomy of migration thesis within mobility studies: while some of their moves do challenge the categories upon which state power is predicated, in other respects they submit to prescribed paths of social mobility.
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