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Social Policy Review 29Analysis and Debate in Social Policy, 2017$
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John Hudson, Catherine Needham, and Elke Heins

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447336211

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447336211.001.0001

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“We don’t rely on benefits”: challenging mainstream narratives towards Roma migrants in the UK

“We don’t rely on benefits”: challenging mainstream narratives towards Roma migrants in the UK

Chapter:
(p.199) Ten “We don’t rely on benefits”: challenging mainstream narratives towards Roma migrants in the UK
Source:
Social Policy Review 29
Author(s):

Philip Martin

Lisa Scullion

Philip Brown

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447336211.003.0010

This chapter explores mainstream narratives regarding a particular EU migrant group in the UK, namely Roma from the Central and Eastern European EU member states — a group that has been particularly strongly associated with ‘benefit tourism’ due to a number of enduring negative stereotypes. The portrayal of Roma populations as ‘benefit tourists’ has become common within popular media over the last decade, both in the UK and the wider EU. Indeed, Roma are especially vulnerable to such characterisation, as this group has been confronted with majority populations' perceptions and media portrayal of criminality, ‘work-shyness’, and deceitfulness for many years all across the European continent. Furthermore, it is also clear that the content of popular narratives about migrant Roma and ‘benefit tourism’ is not a uniquely British phenomenon. There are prevalent discourses on Roma and welfare not only among established communities in Central and Eastern Europe but also in other locations which have experienced large-scale migration of Roma.

Keywords:   Roma, benefit tourism, Roma populations, benefit tourists, media portrayal, criminality, work-shyness, deceitfulness, large-scale migration

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