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Some preliminary findings from the Roma SOURCE focus groups Presentation to the final project meeting Pescara January 23 rd 2013 University of Salford.

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Presentation on theme: "Some preliminary findings from the Roma SOURCE focus groups Presentation to the final project meeting Pescara January 23 rd 2013 University of Salford."— Presentation transcript:

1 Some preliminary findings from the Roma SOURCE focus groups Presentation to the final project meeting Pescara January 23 rd 2013 University of Salford Team: Dr Philip Brown Professor Peter Dwyer Dr Lisa Scullion

2 Overview of presentation Some emergent key themes from ongoing analysis of focus group data Community relations: the good, the bad and the ugly Different understandings of poverty Education: non attendance and early exit Paid work: widespread entrenched discrimination against Roma Making sense of Roma’s social exclusion: some tentative conclusions

3 Community relations: the good SRF2: I feel totally integrated. UKRM: In Slovakia there are non many communities just Slovaks and Roma. Here it is different Pakistani, Poles, Czechs, Black people it is mixed and this is better for us. HRF6: My best friend is Hungarian, we are friends from school. In my opinion, friendship depends on your personality and not your ethnicity. You can be Roma, non-Roma or Chinese. And of course, I have already been to non-Roma people’s places, and they have also visited me. HNRM2: I have both Roma and Hungarian friends. I don’t make friend because they are Roma or Hungarians but because I like them. INRF4: I have never had a friendship with a Roma, I only know them, and I don’t have any prejudices neither negative or positive and I think that in any situation you have to judge who is the person in front of you.

4 Community relations: the bad SRM8: Man, if they don’t understand I am Roma…it is good. But once they realize it, they keep me at distance, of course. SNRM3: They’re like wolves; they go protected in a pack, as a community. Don’t they? Where one goes, the others follow it. Isn’t that true? HNRM1: Talking about work, that they were the first to drop out of the labour market.... Well, our Gypsy will always be our Gypsy. Thank you very much. UKRW: There is no discrimination until the English people know that we are Gypsy (inaudible) then you can see that they feel sick. Not all English people, but some of them are nice to you until they know you are Roma, when they know you are Roma they stop.

5 Community relations: the ugly IRF1: (the events in May) they blame all of us for it and is not right, they wanted to wipe us out, they wanted to come to our houses and burn them…The mother of the non Roma kids attacked her, you gipsy all of you should be burnt at the stake..she had to take the kids and run away, she had to escape because she was scared that something could happen to the children… I saw some cars stopping with young men inside, those that wanted to kills us. My husband understood quickly, he said to me better we go back to you father house because they are following us, he understood what was going on, we have to call [name] that send us 4,5 police cars, I have to call the police at that time in the night to come back home. BRM3: A lot of people had risen up, they were coming to the Roma neighbourhood, I asked “why to the Roma neighbourhood?”. They said they were going on a peaceful procession..well, peaceful procession….Why do you have to do it in the Roma neighbourhood? They came, they broke windows People, who live here on one street, Bulgarians, gypsies, Turks were like: “Why are you coming here?...Why didn’t we rise and fight? But they were very young – 13,14-year olds, the politics, on drugs, with beers in their hands..”Let’s kill the gypsies.

6 Different understandings of poverty: Roma structural GRF11: We live in a shack which consists of nylon and cloth. This is where we live during winter, during summer. During winter we live a very difficult life. Nylon, you know? We are 3 people and we all three are sick. I have a pacemaker, my husband has gone through a stroke, my daughter is 25 years old and crippled in bed. My kids are married and looking for work and cannot find any. One has 5 children, the other 4 children and cannot earn a minimum daily wage. There comes a time when my grandchildren will be at an age to go to school. 1, 2, 3 weeks, when they have no shoes, we will stop them from school against their will. We are looking to find work and both men and women do not find. HMR3: Last week I got the wages for four days, and that’s 8,000 forints. And we tried to calculate how we can make ends meet. But we can’t. I don’t mind work. I do work but I would like decent wages… This will result in stealing and breaking into houses. There are no jobs. People are poor. BRM2: There are four of us in one room in the winter and we use firewood and coal for heating. BRM6: Shoes, slippers..[general laughter].. for room heating...We have, for example, one room each family, you know, we have one, two, three, four rooms with one hallway. And there are 12 of us.

7 Different understandings of poverty: non Roma behavioural/cultural SNRF7: I agree with my colleagues. They don’t want to improve, they don’t want a good job, and they don’t want to study. But want the Government to give them [benefits]. So the government gives them everything they want, but still they do not learn. You give them home; you give them all, but... they are not going to accept it, because they will continue to live the same way... that's it. SNRF6:They’ll die the same way they were born. BNRF4: My impression is that many of them do not work. Particularly women – they rely on social benefits, when they give birth of the child they always say that the father is unknown, although it is known to have one so they are registered as single mothers and they take advantage of such benefits. HNRF5: What I personally feel and what maybe incenses the people who are against the Roma or don’t understand them or don’t keep contact with them is that they get everything free and they don’t work. This shocks the society. If we consider in detail why they don’t work and why they live on benefits except for the programs –I feel this in my environment and read it on Internet forums: Why is it that they have fun all day and their lives are really different from those of the Hungarians? This goes back to their roots: how easily and lightly they live – I am saying this in quotation marks – and maybe this is what we hear most often: “Roma families have so many children so that they can get more family benefits and social benefits. Another thing that is questionable is their attitude to work.

8 Education: non attendance and early exit Roma emphasise poverty and stigma GRF4: Poverty is the reason we stop them from going to school... I would also like to send my children to school but I won’t because of my financial problems, they will remain illiterate. Because all the other children at school will be able to buy at least a sandwich, or chips. Mine will not have the money to get them. I do not want my children and my grandchildren to be illiterate like me. The situation forces us to take such decisions. This gets me depressed because my children feel bad. BRM4: Textbooks, for example. It should give them free textbooks. Where should these people get money for textbooks, for example, and for other simple things? For example, this kid has 2 leva in his pocket, he sees the other kids buying a snack and wants one too. Such things, you know, simple things

9 Education: non attendance and early exit Non Roma emphasise a dysfunctional Roma culture GNRF2: Roma consider its bad to study. For them idiots read books. Children who want to study have to struggle even more. BNRM3: Genes is another. They just do not like learning. Well I've been in classes with them...They are unwilling to learn... they are talented in music, in construction and believe that they don’t need education and don’t want [it]. UKNRF7: I just don’t understand how their children are not at school. Quite a lot when it is school time they stay with their parents. GNRM1/6: Roma parents decide that their children will come to school only the first two years and then they will quit it in order to sell flowers. SNRM2: There are twenty pupils in his class, and ten of them are Gypsies. They go just once a week to fulfil a requirement; their parents send them to school just to fulfil a requirement in order to obtain facilities and aid from the Government, because if they suddenly don’t go, they don’t get aid [benefit payments]... So I think it’s there the root of the problem: they don’t want to be superior as human beings, they’re just like animals.

10 Roma: anti or for education? SRF3: I wish I had continued studying to become a veterinarian, but I was forced to leave the school because of the money. It is just the economic condition, that makes you stop studying and go to the markets. GRM8: I would like them to get more educated than me...School is very helpful when it comes to employability. When you have a degree, I believe it is easier to find a work at an office or something.

11 Paid work: entrenched discrimination against Roma GRF9: We are young, we want to make a better life.... And there is no support from the state. We try to find jobs but they don’t exist. And we sit all day in the family home. GRM1: When others ask for a work, they find it, we don’t. GRM2: We would like to have something stable, so we can provide bread to our families in a legitimate way...The reason is racism coming from the residents, the government, from municipalities. They believe we are not good people. They believe we are bad, just because we are gypsies. HRM2: I had to move to Budapest to find a job and in several cases I was rejected only because I was a Roma. They said that there were Roma who drank, stole and cheated. I insisted that I was not like that but I had to look for another place. There are Hungarians who give us opportunities and they told us that there are honest Roma people, too. But in most places they didn’t trust the Gypsies. SRM4: I am in charge of my children, till noon when my wife comes back home. I try to make a living, I go recycling…looking for papers, scraps, all that falls... Because, as my friend said, there’s not any kind of work, and if there was, people would firstly employ non-Roma. SRM5: I work in the market, but because getting a job is very difficult. I‘m in building and I’ve not worked since 2006/ If there are ten jobs and I'm there and they know where I come from, I surely won’t get the job...

12 Paid work: entrenched discrimination against Roma SRM2: The point is that they look at you for the race. You are Roma and… SRM7:...This period is really difficult for everyone, right? But it’s very difficult for us being Gypsies. IRM2: They close the door in my face, ‘We’ll let you know, they all say, we’ll let you know,’- then nothing… They don’t trust the Roma, for them Roma means rip-off, steal, this is what they think when you go to ask for work. BRM1: When you are looking for a job, they first look at how you talk to them, and when they find out you are Roma, they say: ‘There is no work for you, I cannot find you a job’... That’s the way it is. BRM4: If 5 gypsies and 1 Bulgarian go to an interview, they take the Bulgarian. BRM6: As someone said – when they see the street where you live, you know, and right away they assume you are from the Roma neighbourhood and that’s it. BRM2: I went to a job interview recently. I gave them my CV. By the way, I’ve started writing my name at the end of the CV on purpose..I am doing my own experiment..I write my education, I command English and Russian languages, I write my languages, I write previous jobs. It’s all good. At a certain point they agreed to take me to work for them, and then when they see that I have a Turkish name [Name].. ‘Well, we will call you’ and that’s it. BRF2: I had started as a cleaning lady, but I had a high school diploma in economics back in the day...When the boss, when found out,, that I had some background in economics, there was an opening with computer literacy, and he wanted me to take some additional classes, to start as an accountant...Despite that he was the boss; there were deputies and others.. in charge saying, you know: “We don’t need her, do we? What is this nonsense? What kinds of crazy ideas are you coming up with?” to the boss and every time they stopped him. I just could not develop, you know, and show the other things I am capable of.

13 Making some sense of Roma’s social exclusion: some tentative conclusions Non Roma characterize Roma as non citizens: a separate dysfunctional/criminal ‘underclass’ Roma in contrast speak of material poverty and inequality Competition for scarce resources Racist discrimination/prejudice Nationalist politics of hate Any questions this presentation or housekeeping issues Finally: thank you to all partners for their help and support

14 Disclaimer: This project to which this presentation relates has been funded with the financial support of the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship programme of the European Commission. The contents of the presentation are the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission. © Roma SOURCE 2012


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