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Gypsies and Travellers in housingThe decline of Nomadism$
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David M. Smith and Margaret Greenfields

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781847428738

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847428738.001.0001

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Recreating community

Recreating community

(p.155) Eight Recreating community
Gypsies and Travellers in housing

David M. Smith

Margaret Greenfields

Policy Press

This chapter utilizes insights from the literature on cultural resilience and resistance to examine how, despite the considerable policy driven and politically motivated pressures to settle and assimilate discussed in earlier chapters, many Gypsies and Travellers have managed to recreate an approximation to traditional community structures and lifestyles even within conventional housing. Through processes of residential segregation, Gypsies and Travellers are able to resist assimilation. Residential segregation and concentrations of Gypsies and Travellers has resulted partly as a consequence of central government and local authorities’ attempts to spatially manage and ‘fix’ members of these communities and also by conscious and purposeful use of the housing exchange and Choice Based Letting (CBL) mechanisms by Gypsies and Travellers themselves. Through these processes ethnic enclaves are recreated and it is through these spatially bounded support networks that a high level of movement can be sustained even within conventional housing. The chapter also examines counter examples through presenting examples of self isolation and the circumstances under which community members deliberately distanced themselves from other Gypsies and Travellers.

Keywords:   Cultural resilience, Residential segregation, Social support networks, Housing exchange, Choice Based Letting

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