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1 Gypsies and Travellers Capabilities, Power and Social Justice Juliet McCaffery Juliet McCaffery UEA Sept 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Gypsies and Travellers Capabilities, Power and Social Justice Juliet McCaffery Juliet McCaffery UEA Sept 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Gypsies and Travellers Capabilities, Power and Social Justice Juliet McCaffery Juliet McCaffery UEA Sept 2009

2 2 Travelling Tourers Tourers

3 3 Capabilities, Power and Social Justice Capabilities of Gypsies and Travellers Capabilities of Gypsies and Travellers Policies and power of the state Policies and power of the state Social justice – public and political attitudes towards G/T Social justice – public and political attitudes towards G/T Dilemma reflects the situation of other nomadic, semi nomadic groups and the Roma Dilemma reflects the situation of other nomadic, semi nomadic groups and the Roma

4 4 Research Research interest, Nomadic Fulani, San in Botswana, site provision, literacy work in Ireland Research interest, Nomadic Fulani, San in Botswana, site provision, literacy work in Ireland Research focuses on 3 UK authorities – 2 rural and one urban Research focuses on 3 UK authorities – 2 rural and one urban Research methods – ethnographic observation and participation, grounded theory – iterative process Research methods – ethnographic observation and participation, grounded theory – iterative process Access to the community a key issue Access to the community a key issue osupport organisation for 6 years led to contacts and being known as an active supporter oLocal Councillor with remit in equality and inclusion issues,

5 5 Key Facts Six different groups -500 years in UK Six different groups -500 years in UK 300 - 400,000 0.5% of the population 300 - 400,000 0.5% of the population Strong cultural characteristics – cleanliness family etc, independence,- travelling, on sites and in housing Strong cultural characteristics – cleanliness family etc, independence,- travelling, on sites and in housing 75,000 with nowhere legal to stop – due to currently severe tension due to 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act and planning restrictions 75,000 with nowhere legal to stop – due to currently severe tension due to 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act and planning restrictions Contested identities around ethnicity and lifestyles– not in UK census Contested identities around ethnicity and lifestyles– not in UK census See handout for more detail Information in Acton (1997, 2009), Kenrick and Clark (1996), Johnson and Willers (2004) Clark and Greenfields (2006), Bhopal and Myers (2008) + websites Information in Acton (1997, 2009), Kenrick and Clark (1996), Johnson and Willers (2004) Clark and Greenfields (2006), Bhopal and Myers (2008) + websites

6 6 Policies and Practice: lack of data Although member states [of the EU] provide detailed educational statistics for the general population, there is a marked absence of ethnically differentiated data on Gypsies and Travellers on basic indicators such as school enrolment and attendance, as well as school performance and achievement (Commission of the European Union: Roma and Travellers in Public Education EUMC 2006:6) (Commission of the European Union: Roma and Travellers in Public Education EUMC 2006:6)

7 7 Education of school age children 1963 first Traveller school opened in Dublin, 1966 first vol. school opened in Midlands 1963 first Traveller school opened in Dublin, 1966 first vol. school opened in Midlands 1967 Plowden report influential 1967 Plowden report influential Policy decision to mainstream with Traveller Education Support Policy decision to mainstream with Traveller Education Support Since 2003 in school census Since 2003 in school census 2007 14% of Gypsy/Roma 16% Irish Travellers - 5 A-C GCSEs, 45 and 43 % below national average (49% of Black Caribbeans 5 A-Cs) 2007 14% of Gypsy/Roma 16% Irish Travellers - 5 A-C GCSEs, 45 and 43 % below national average (49% of Black Caribbeans 5 A-Cs) Low transfer to secondary school – access, Low transfer to secondary school – access, racist bullying, culture, work, experience.

8 8 Post school AE and literacy and numeracy provision No statistics from DIUS (DfES), LSC, NIACE No statistics from DIUS (DfES), LSC, NIACE Gypsies and Travellers almost absent from documents. Fee remission for Learn Direct Gypsies and Travellers almost absent from documents. Fee remission for Learn Direct Range of literacy and numeracy provision, Skills for Life, Train to Gain, Learn Direct open to all Range of literacy and numeracy provision, Skills for Life, Train to Gain, Learn Direct open to all Policies for AE and literacy and settlement in Ireland – see handout 2 for detail Policies for AE and literacy and settlement in Ireland – see handout 2 for detail Survey of 130 Gypsies and Travellers on sites found only 2 in college – both housed, only 2 others had enquired about any provision Survey of 130 Gypsies and Travellers on sites found only 2 in college – both housed, only 2 others had enquired about any provision Only a few short term projects for Gypsies and Travellers, fire brigade and ambulance service do training on site Only a few short term projects for Gypsies and Travellers, fire brigade and ambulance service do training on site

9 9 Barriers to participation Attitudes changing but many see little relevance in formal education to their lives Attitudes changing but many see little relevance in formal education to their lives No strategy targeted at adult Gypsies and Travellers – unfreedoms can arise through inadequate processes (Sen 1999:17) No strategy targeted at adult Gypsies and Travellers – unfreedoms can arise through inadequate processes (Sen 1999:17) People with needs dont know how to access mainstream funding and mainstream funding doesnt know they are there (LSC SE region 24.02.09)People with needs dont know how to access mainstream funding and mainstream funding doesnt know they are there (LSC SE region 24.02.09)

10 10 Conflicting attitudes Everything is oral. Get some who say they are ignorant, but they are very articulate. We are highly articulate people; we express ourselves very well and have good memories (Jamie May 2008) Everything is oral. Get some who say they are ignorant, but they are very articulate. We are highly articulate people; we express ourselves very well and have good memories (Jamie May 2008) Were educated people, but were not educated in reading …but were educated in the world, we know exactly everything whats going on, but when it comes to putting paper in front of us …. Were educated people, but were not educated in reading …but were educated in the world, we know exactly everything whats going on, but when it comes to putting paper in front of us …. 1. (Carol Feb 2009) Dont want your education ( Gary July 2008) Dont want your education ( Gary July 2008)

11 11 Conflicting attitudes I cant read, my wife can read a little, my boy can read and write a little. My problem with reading and writing (Sam May 2009) I cant read, my wife can read a little, my boy can read and write a little. My problem with reading and writing (Sam May 2009) Nowadays you cant get a job, and (even) a cleaning job. You want to go and clean the toilet. You have to have qualifications or a CV (Carol Feb 2009) Nowadays you cant get a job, and (even) a cleaning job. You want to go and clean the toilet. You have to have qualifications or a CV (Carol Feb 2009) My son is dyslexic, I am a bit. He cant hardly read and write, now hes a fully trained electrician and gas fitter – he got his daughter to teach him over the computer (Charlie Aug 2008) My son is dyslexic, I am a bit. He cant hardly read and write, now hes a fully trained electrician and gas fitter – he got his daughter to teach him over the computer (Charlie Aug 2008)

12 12 Barriers to accessing available provision Youre a Traveller …. The reason [I dont go] is that, the reason is, the reading bits not important……….. Its not the reading when you have to go to these colleges and things like, its for people to know who you are. ( Carol Feb.2008 )

13 13 Social justice and public policy Policy makers have two sets of reasons for taking an interest in the values of social justice 1) justice is a central concept indentifying the aims and objectives of public policy and the instruments to implement 2) all public policy is dependent on how individuals and groups in society behave, need to understand the values of the public at large, including their sense of justice (Sen 1999:274). Policy makers have two sets of reasons for taking an interest in the values of social justice 1) justice is a central concept indentifying the aims and objectives of public policy and the instruments to implement 2) all public policy is dependent on how individuals and groups in society behave, need to understand the values of the public at large, including their sense of justice (Sen 1999:274).

14 14 Social norms How people behave often depends on how they see – and perceive – others as behaving. Much depends therefore on the reading of prevailing behaviour norms. A sense of relative justice vis a vis a comparison group – can be an important influence on behaviour (Sen 1999:277). How people behave often depends on how they see – and perceive – others as behaving. Much depends therefore on the reading of prevailing behaviour norms. A sense of relative justice vis a vis a comparison group – can be an important influence on behaviour (Sen 1999:277).

15 15 Prejudice: Public Ah, well they do have a bad reputation, leave rubbish and that everywhere (Casual conversation April 2009) Ah, well they do have a bad reputation, leave rubbish and that everywhere (Casual conversation April 2009) She was very polite The Smiths are quite nice people" unrelated arguments - photo of faeces from elsewhere, party held 3 years ago, friend afraid to visit. Spongers, dont pay anything (residents Meeting 2001) She was very polite The Smiths are quite nice people" unrelated arguments - photo of faeces from elsewhere, party held 3 years ago, friend afraid to visit. Spongers, dont pay anything (residents Meeting 2001) University e mails 3 Gypsy caravans in the car park; lock your doors and windows (June 2008) University e mails 3 Gypsy caravans in the car park; lock your doors and windows (June 2008)

16 16 Prejudice Public ( Carol,s experience, Interview Feb 2009) Would he move her car, or do something about the stupid car, she turned round and she said, she had oxygen bottles, because shes a midwife… in case the Pikeys steal them. I just looked at her and I said, Well I dont think they will steal your oxygen. They might go and steal your car, but wouldnt know oxygen bottles are in your car.. and the man she was going out with said Yes, well, them Pikeys steal anything Would he move her car, or do something about the stupid car, she turned round and she said, she had oxygen bottles, because shes a midwife… in case the Pikeys steal them. I just looked at her and I said, Well I dont think they will steal your oxygen. They might go and steal your car, but wouldnt know oxygen bottles are in your car.. and the man she was going out with said Yes, well, them Pikeys steal anything

17 17 The Justice System Prejudice against Travellers is not only acceptable in the force, it is expected, (Coxhead 2004:58) Prejudice against Travellers is not only acceptable in the force, it is expected, (Coxhead 2004:58) Officers for a PSU unit went onto our site and let off fire crackers. These things are normal (quote from G/T interview Coxhead 2004: 65) Officers for a PSU unit went onto our site and let off fire crackers. These things are normal (quote from G/T interview Coxhead 2004: 65) Johnny Delaney, a young 15 yr old Traveller killed in a racist attack May 8th 2003. Kicked and stamped on the head by two 16 year old boys. "He deserved it; he's only a fucking Gippo The police treated the killing as a racially motivated attack, but in the Crown Court there was no formal acceptance that the death was due to racism Johnny Delaney, a young 15 yr old Traveller killed in a racist attack May 8th 2003. Kicked and stamped on the head by two 16 year old boys. "He deserved it; he's only a fucking Gippo The police treated the killing as a racially motivated attack, but in the Crown Court there was no formal acceptance that the death was due to racism

18 18 Guy Fawkes Firle October 2003 A [model of a] caravan which portrayed women and children inside, with 'pikey' written on the back and the image of a scantily-clad woman standing in the door was wheeled down the street and burnt A [model of a] caravan which portrayed women and children inside, with 'pikey' written on the back and the image of a scantily-clad woman standing in the door was wheeled down the street and burnt A Councillor led the procession

19 19 Despite a police investigation the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the charges.

20 20 Politicians and prejudice We are in a pre-election period and Travellers are a vote loser for us; it is clear that this town) is a soft touch. Too often our parks and streets are littered with Travellers vans …….If a way could be found to charge these people for services provided, …..simply a drain on our resources (not to mention their disgusting dogs and the delight some of them take in shitting in the bushes). Councillor 13.11.02 We are in a pre-election period and Travellers are a vote loser for us; it is clear that this town) is a soft touch. Too often our parks and streets are littered with Travellers vans …….If a way could be found to charge these people for services provided, …..simply a drain on our resources (not to mention their disgusting dogs and the delight some of them take in shitting in the bushes). Councillor 13.11.02 Jack Straw when Home Secretary said They think its perfectly OK for them to cause mayhem, to burgling, thieving, breaking into vehicles… including defecating in doorways of firms (2003) Jack Straw when Home Secretary said They think its perfectly OK for them to cause mayhem, to burgling, thieving, breaking into vehicles… including defecating in doorways of firms (2003)

21 21 Basildon Council and Dale Farm Stamp on the camps - Spreading misery... huge camp of 1,000 Irish travellers at Crays Hill, Essex The Deputy Prime Minister has ordered local councils to go soft on travellers camps And turn a blind eye to the shocking problems they create. But The Sun, on behalf of our they create. But The Sun, on behalf of our ten million readers, is determined to fight him ten million readers, is determined to fight him all the way ( Sun newspaper March 9 2005) all the way ( Sun newspaper March 9 2005)

22 22 Theories Ni Shuinear (1997) English in Ireland were the common enemy, when they left Travellers were seen as backward, dirty and poor and even genetically inferior Ni Shuinear (1997) English in Ireland were the common enemy, when they left Travellers were seen as backward, dirty and poor and even genetically inferior McVeigh (1997) anti-nomadism, sedentarism to distinguish it from racism, fear and resentment for an apparent freedom McVeigh (1997) anti-nomadism, sedentarism to distinguish it from racism, fear and resentment for an apparent freedom Monbiot (Guardian 4.11.2003) fear the barbarian hordes who sacked Rome and destroyed civilization, later hordes of Genghis Khan. Monbiot (Guardian 4.11.2003) fear the barbarian hordes who sacked Rome and destroyed civilization, later hordes of Genghis Khan.

23 23 Theories Bhopal and Myers (2008) - outside acceptability, white other Chavs, poor white trash or East Ed criminals Bhopal and Myers (2008) - outside acceptability, white other Chavs, poor white trash or East Ed criminals Coxhead (2004:29) in groups and out groups, pressure to conform, rejection of the ethnic status of Travellers possibly an extension of extermination rather than mere social exclusion Coxhead (2004:29) in groups and out groups, pressure to conform, rejection of the ethnic status of Travellers possibly an extension of extermination rather than mere social exclusion Sen (1999) Cultural alienation problems their fault, therefore no feeling of social responsibility towards them Sen (1999) Cultural alienation problems their fault, therefore no feeling of social responsibility towards them

24 24 Engaging with the Other Prize giving event at the House of Lords Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month 2007 Lord Avebury Could a Traveller become Prime Minister ?……but they wouldnt have the literacy skills. Bob responded I dont need literacy skills to represent my people. (Interview. Aug. 19 2009)

25 25 Opportunities for Interaction Local forum 1997 – no G/T representatives Local forum 1997 – no G/T representatives –2002 G/T rep proposed – activists attended –2005 Gypsy spoke, 5 others attended Asymmetry of power 2007 Police Forum 12 members –police and G/T and support orgs 2007 Police Forum 12 members –police and G/T and support orgs Cant tell who can /cant read the material

26 26 Reading for engagement Literacy required –e mail + agenda +date + place Literacy required –e mail + agenda +date + place Reports for meetings, gov. docs. Reports for meetings, gov. docs. Individual agreements Individual agreements Planning applications Planning applications Court procedures re evictions Court procedures re evictions Health cards Health cards

27 27 Managing Carol: At meetings …I would wait until somebody ….reads something out and says Its this and this…I was able to pick it up … and knew what was on the paper…..right, I seriously need to learn to read (2.Feb.2009) Carol: At meetings …I would wait until somebody ….reads something out and says Its this and this…I was able to pick it up … and knew what was on the paper…..right, I seriously need to learn to read (2.Feb.2009) Supporter: Some people might like you to read it out. Supporter: Some people might like you to read it out. Sam: I cant read it so I have to remember it all. (May 2009) Sam: I cant read it so I have to remember it all. (May 2009) Jamie: I couldnt understand the small print, so its gone on for years (Planning application May 2008) Jamie: I couldnt understand the small print, so its gone on for years (Planning application May 2008)

28 28 Language and literacy Charlie: Theres lots of words, they come along with these things, circulars and things, and I am not to sure of a word, so I look them up in the dictionary (Aug.8 2009) Charlie: Theres lots of words, they come along with these things, circulars and things, and I am not to sure of a word, so I look them up in the dictionary (Aug.8 2009) Gary: challenging the minutes: you are educated you know the words (July 2008) Gary: challenging the minutes: you are educated you know the words (July 2008)

29 29 Frustration Interrupting at inappropriate moments, (See conversations on the handout) Gary – Bhopal re racism Gary – Bhopal re racism Arthur - re private land Arthur - re private land Where do people take their concerns to, this is the only place they have to come to? (April 29 2009)

30 30 Discourse and Power Speakers lacking the legitimate competences are de facto excluded… or are condemned to silence (Bourdieu 1991:55) Speakers lacking the legitimate competences are de facto excluded… or are condemned to silence (Bourdieu 1991:55)..every linguistic interaction….. Bears the traces of the social structure it both expresses and helps to reproduce. (Bourdieu 1991:2)..every linguistic interaction….. Bears the traces of the social structure it both expresses and helps to reproduce. (Bourdieu 1991:2)

31 31 Knowing the discourse We do need to be educated. We do need to have the basic things in place –health, education and accommodation (Bob: 16.08.09) We do need to be educated. We do need to have the basic things in place –health, education and accommodation (Bob: 16.08.09) [We] must be able to converse in a political manner to demand our rights, to do it in a political stance and reach local politicians – need to get people to take the flack and answer it in a democratic way: [we] need people able to converse (Jamie April 2008) [We] must be able to converse in a political manner to demand our rights, to do it in a political stance and reach local politicians – need to get people to take the flack and answer it in a democratic way: [we] need people able to converse (Jamie April 2008)

32 32 Literacy and numeracy are essential to freedom Illiteracy and innumeracy are a form of insecurity in themselves. Not to be able to read or write or count is a tremendous deprivation Illiteracy and innumeracy are a form of insecurity in themselves. Not to be able to read or write or count is a tremendous deprivation When people are illiterate, their ability to invoke their legal rights can be very Limited When people are illiterate, their ability to invoke their legal rights can be very Limited Can muffle political opportunities, by reducing the ability to participate in the political arena …..absence of voice in politics can entail a severe reduction of influence and the likelihood of just treatment Can muffle political opportunities, by reducing the ability to participate in the political arena …..absence of voice in politics can entail a severe reduction of influence and the likelihood of just treatment Sen: International Literacy Day 2002 8 Sept.2002 Sen: International Literacy Day 2002 8 Sept.2002

33 33 Symbolic and actual violence Symbolic and actual violence

34 34 The Future It is a serious issue for Europe because we cant move forward ………….until we stop blaming the victims and accept what happened to these communities and see the consequences of what we have done to their community. (Lord Avebury: June 2009) It is a serious issue for Europe because we cant move forward ………….until we stop blaming the victims and accept what happened to these communities and see the consequences of what we have done to their community. (Lord Avebury: June 2009)


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