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Does the canonical theory of assimilation explain the Roma case? Some evidence from Central and Eastern Europe

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Prieto-Flores, Òscar

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Abstract This article focuses on the relation between mobility and assimilation among the Roma. Quantitative results from UNDP research in four Central and Eastern Europe countries provide new data and show the need for a new conceptualization of the evidence. These results demonstrate that there are no significant data to confirm the existence of a straight-line process of assimilation in the Roma case. Thus, they question the canonical theory of assimilation by demonstrating that middle-class Roma tend not to leave their identity behind. I propose the need for a segmented theory of the different upward mobility paths that Roma people tend to follow. In a complementary way, the observed results also point out the need to take into account some variations in Roma ethnic identity depending on the source of ethnic data, how they are collected and the implications for research in the different national contexts explored.
Classification Migration, Sociology of Migration; Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnosociology
Free Keywords ethnicity; segmented assimilation; social mobility; Roma; ethnic boundaries; acculturation
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
Page/Pages p. 1387-1405
Journal Ethnic and Racial Studies, 32 (2009) 8
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)