Romani Studies

Kinship, social organisation and genealogical manipulations in Gypsy osadas in eastern Slovakia

Romani Studies (2006), 16, (1), 63–82.

Abstract

The article deals with kinship and social organisation in Gypsy osadas in eastern Slovakia, in particular with the question of genealogical manipulation, which in the Gypsy osadas is often used to modify and adjust kinship relationships to the actual needs of individuals or families in question. The basic assumption here is that the social organisation of Gypsy osadas is fundamentally based on kinship, which is an essential grid used to articulate and manipulate social relations of other kinds—e.g. economic, political, legal, etc. Kinship is seen as the dominant organisational principle in Gypsy osadas, and therefore it is in terms of kinship that political and economic functions are carried out. When an activity or social proximity is to be expressed and legitimized, the genealogy of individuals or family segments is manipulated. Genealogical manipulation in Gypsy osadas thus functions as a kind of (proto)political strategy and as a means of legitimizing given states of affairs.

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Author details

Jakoubek, Marek

Budilová, Lenka