Tikalova, Jana (2003) Roma asylum seekers from the former Czechoslovakia in the Northeast of England:: migration and identities. Masters thesis, Durham University.
Between 1997-1998, mass migrations entitled a 'Roma exodus' from the Czech and Slovak Republics to Canada and the United Kingdom occurred. The host countries were presented, mainly through the media, as 'welcoming' asylum seekers. Roma had decided to join the migratory journey to ease the discrimination experienced in the Czech and Slovak lands, seeking protection of their rights under the label of 'political asylum seekers'. This thesis uses the anthropology sub-disciplines of migration and economics to explore the 'asylum' lives of Roma from the former Czechoslovakia in the Northeast of England during the years 2001-2003. It focuses on the way in which old identities are reawakened and new ones created. From a population of 150 in the Northeast of England, 26 Roma asylum seekers from both the Czech and Slovak Republics were interviewed between October 2001 to early February 2003. Nine of these became key informants and were informally interviewed in their temporary homes. Many Roma asylum seekers were subsequently deported. Only one family was granted asylum. From these informants, data on understanding and circumventing governmental control, restrictions and restraints, perceptions of the UK as 'Paradise', comprehension of the voucher scheme for refugees as a means of payment (legalised in April 2000), stigmatization and development of social and cultural relations, and information on economic networks, were obtained. Roma asylum seekers conducted their migratory journey imagining that it would lead to a happier life. Instead, they experienced racial discrimination, humiliation, fear, and they were constantly threatened with deportation. Thus, the migration journey led not to a contented integration, but to a frightening alienation. This thesis shows how the Roma responded differently to this process of alienation, producing a range of identities that varied from one individual to another. It demonstrates how attempts to apply a single identity to this group produce false stereotypes.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Award:||Master of Arts|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||09 Sep 2011 10:02|