Romani Studies

Reviews

Romani Studies (2014), 24, (2), 213–232.

Abstract

Reviews This camp is lousy. Ethnography of Romani adolescence between peripheries and global scenarios. [Questo campo fa schifo. Etnografia dell’adolescenza rom fra peripherie e scenari globali]. Ulderico Daniele. Roma: Meti, 2013, 382 pp. ISBN 978-8-86-484010-9 Reviewed by Marco Solimene Daniele’s book is based on two years of fieldwork conducted at a Roma settlement, a so-called ‘campsite for nomads’ (campo nomadi), situated in the southwestern periphery of Rome, Italy. The author argues that the Italian institutions’ increasing role in the educative processes of the inhabitants of authorized settlements is stretching the passage from childhood to adulthood (which in the Romani world appears as immediate and without any intermediary steps) over a relatively long period. Examining the experiences of some young inhabitants of the camp, he thus individuates what, from a non-Romani perspective, might be defined a ‘time of adolescence’. This phase would be characterized by a series of re-negotiations. In connection to the experience of migration, young Roma re-negotiate their relation to two different socio-cultural systems: that of their country of origin (Romania) and that of their country of reception (Italy); in relation to the ethnic boundary, the negotiations concern the young Roma’s relations with the Romani and the non-Romani world. This in-between position opens up unprecedented opportunities but simultaneously traps the young Roma between the control of older generations (who embrace the limits of gender and group relations based on the principles of honour and shame) and the anti-Gypsy attitudes pervading Italian society. This enquiry focuses on the space of the campo nomadi and mostly on the Romanian Roma inhabiting it (the camp hosts also Bosnian Roma, but they are fewer in number and a secondary object of analysis). Without any pretence to achieve an insider’s perspective, and instead with a clear awareness of his position as a non-Roma outsider, the author reveals extremely fascinating spaces of reflection on processes and dynamics that await to be investigated with more specifically oriented ethnographic inquiries. Daniele starts by noticing the relatively late entrance of the concept of adolescence in the socio-anthropological debate and shows how the conceptualization of age (within which the theme of adolescence is framed) is strictly connected to the vexed question of the nature–culture relation. The first chapter reviews the main approaches to these themes, and especially the Marco Solimene is a Research Fellow at the Department of Anthropology, University of Iceland, Sæmundargötu 2, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland. Email: mas18@hi.is Romani Studies 5, Vol. 24, No. 2 (2014), 213–231 issn 1528–0748 (print) 1757–2274 (online) doi: 10.3828/rs.2014.11

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Author details

Solimene, Marco

Çakir, Nihat

Friedman, Victor