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Title: Gypsy and Traveller attachment to people and place : a contradiction in terms? : how do adult family members from the Traveller Communities think and talk about attachment processes to people and place in their childhoods?
Author: Hamilton-Perry, Melanie
ISNI:       0000 0004 8500 689X
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis seeks to examine how adult family members from the Traveller Communities think and talk about attachment processes to people and place in their childhoods. The research described in this thesis consists of the use of adapted Adult Attachment Interview questions during guided conversation interviews. The transcripts were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) methodology. The findings indicate that for the participants of this study, interesting variations on the meaning of attachment emerged. It was noticeable, for example, that for most of them, 'movement' created some of the conditions for their stability and 'felt security'. The addition of the word 'felt' is pivotal here: it is their nuanced memories of connection to 'people and place' that forms their lived experience of attachment. As with many Travellers, this is an unconventional, untypical and, from the house-dweller's perspective at any rate, 'unexpected' way of experiencing security, but for many Gypsies and Travellers, 'constant planned movement' was how they were able to feel safe as a child. Therefore, for many other Gypsies and Travellers, 'being settled' is in effect, unsettling, resulting in increased feelings of emotional insecurity and loss of their secure base. The findings also highlighted that the Gypsies' and Travellers' cultures within this study seem to enjoy a shared approach to caring for the children within their family group. This appears to have provided the children and the group with the best chance of survival. Most of the participants reported that they had multiple care providers during childhood, enabling them to develop attachment relationships with their older siblings, grandmothers and aunts. The lack of secure sites, together with constant forced evictions, have fragmented the children's attachment relationships to both people and place and have had a negative effect on the children's feelings of safety and security.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available