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Title: New migrants' home encounters : an ethnography of 'Romanian Roma' and the local state in Luton
Author: Humphris, Rachel Grace
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 5867
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This ethnographic study explores how 'Romanian Roma' migrants in the UK, without previous relationships to their place of arrival, negotiate their identity to make place in a diverse urban area. The thesis argues that state forms are (re)produced through embedded social relations. The restructuring of the UK welfare state, coupled with processes of labelling, means that the notion of public and private space is changing. Migrants' encounters with state actors in the home are increasingly important. I lived with three families between January 2013 and March 2014, during a period of shifting labour market regulations and the end of European Union transitional controls in January 2014. Through mapping families' relationships and connections, I identify encounters in the home with state actors regarding children as a defining feature of place-making. The thesis introduces the term 'home encounter' to trace the interplay of discourses and performances between state actors and those they identified as 'Romanian Roma'. Due to the restructuring of UK welfare, various roles assume different 'faces of the state'. These include education officers, health visitors, sub-contracted NGO workers, charismatic pastors and volunteers. The home encounter is presented as a public 'state act' (Bourdieu 2012) where negotiations of values take place in private space determining access to membership and welfare resources. In addition, blurring boundaries between welfare regulations and immigration control mean that these actors' seemingly small decisions have far-reaching consequences. The analysis raises questions of how to understand practices of government in diverse urban areas; the affect of labelling, place and performance on material power inequalities; and processes of discrimination and othering.
Supervisor: Gidley, Ben ; Banks, Marcus Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Romanies--Great Britain--Social conditions ; Great Britain--Emigration and immigration--21st century ; Immigrants--Services for--Great Britain ; Immigrants--Medical care--Great Britain