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03-01-2017 | Issue 3/2017

The Urban Review 3/2017

Long-Lasting Fieldwork, Ethnographic Restitution and ‘Engaged Anthropology’ in Romani Studies

Journal:
The Urban Review > Issue 3/2017
Author:
Federica Setti

Abstract

The history of relationships between Roma/Sinti and non-Roma/non-Sinti is marked and crossed by negative features and trails: anti-ziganismus, asymmetric power relationships within institutions and the absence of social justice in the school toward Romani minorities. This article—starting from the negative aspects of the inter-ethnic relations between Roma and majority societies—on the contrary explores the positive features of these relationships, through a long-lasting ethnographic research and through the intimacy and friendship of the author with the research’ subjects. Without the deep connection and friendship established through the ethnographic relationship, these “positive” outcome would have remained eluded. The article will highlight how long-lasting ethnographic research is essential for the research’ outcomes, but also for the improvement of social justice within institutions, impairing the asymmetric power relationships between non-Roma majority and Roma/Sinti minorities. Indeed, long-lasting ethnographic research, ethnographic restitution and an “engaged anthropology” approach are central issues for intercultural education both within institutions, such as school, and in less formal contexts, as urban quarters, low-income flats and extra-school contexts of multicultural societies.

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