Roma Settlement Formation in a Small Romanian Town – Instances of Ghettoization and Reduction to Bare Life
Based on findings from a comparative qualitative contextual inquiry carried out between 2012 and 2014, the article analyses the formation of two Roma settlements in the larger context of a small sized town in Romania. The article aims at understanding the constitution of these areas as reflected through people’s narratives, while also accounting for the influence of economic and political developments on where and how they were and are placed on the social and geographic map of the city. Altogether, the article illustrates the similarities and differences between how the two settlements were founded under different political regimes and how are they nowadays subjected to ghettoization and reduction to bare life, understood as processes characteristic for contemporary global capitalism. At the same time, the analysis highlights the limits of the approaches informed by these conceptual frames and ends up by pinpointing the need to complete them with a perspective that links the politics of spatial marginalization to the understanding of how the latter is part of a political economy that exploits the spatially marginalized.
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