Romani Studies

'Gypsy Invasion': A critical analysis of newspaper reaction to Czech and Slovak Romani asylum-seekers in Britain, 1997

Romani Studies (2000), 10, (1), 23–47.

Abstract

Following Canadian efforts to prevent Romanies from Slovakia and the Czech Republic entering its territory, in October 1997, Romani families from the former Czechoslovakia started to arrive at the port of Dover in Kent, England. They were attempting to claim political asylum in the UK due to the high levels of institutionalised racism and discrimination which forced them to flee their home countries. The reactions these families received from most sections of the British press were vitriolic and overtly hostile. It is this newspaper coverage that will be unpacked, examined and critically discussed in this article. Importantly, we regard the newspaper texts not simply as material for a contemporary case study, but as an object of analysis which is both a product of a particular historical moment, and simultaneously a recent manifestation of a longer historical project to construct Roma people in censuring and censorious ways. For all that, our analysis reveals very little of the struggles and experiences of these asylum-seekers, but everything about British xenophobia, anti-Gypsyism, and the (a) British way of life.

Access Token
£25.00
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

 Google Scholar

Atkinson, Paul. 1990. The ethnographic imagination: Textual constructions of reality. London: Routledge. The ethnographic imagination: Textual constructions of reality Google Scholar

Bancroft. Angus. 1999.Gypsies to the camps! Exclusion and marginalisation of Roma in theCzech Republic. SociologicalResearch Online 4(3). http://www.socresonline.org.uk/4/3/bancroft.html Google Scholar

Bentham, Jeremy. 1948. An introduction to the principles of morals and legislation. New York: Hafner. An introduction to the principles of morals and legislation Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Clark, Colin. 1998. Counting backwards: The Roma numbers game in Central and Eastern Europe. Radical Statistics 69: 35–46. Counting backwards: The Roma numbers game in Central and Eastern Europe Radical Statistics 69 35 46 Google Scholar

Derrida, Jacques. 1978. Writing and difference. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Writing and difference Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto. 1979. The role of the reader. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. The role of the reader Google Scholar

Foucault, Michel. 1977. Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison. Harmondsworth: Penguin. Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Fraser, Angus. 1992. The Gypsies. Oxford: Blackwell. The Gypsies Google Scholar

Galjus, Orhan. 1997. A media guided by our own hand. Transitions 4(4): 98–100. A media guided by our own hand Transitions 4 98 100 Google Scholar

Hancock, Ian. 1987. The pariah syndrome: An account of Gypsy slavery and persecution. Ann Arbor: Karoma Publishers Inc. The pariah syndrome: An account of Gypsy slavery and persecution Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Holmes, Colin. 1980. The German Gypsy question in Britain, 1904–1906. In Hosts, immigrants and minorities:Historical responses to newcomers in British society 1870–1914. Kenneth Lunn, ed. Pp. 134–59. Folkestone: Dawson & Sons Ltd. In Hosts, immigrants and minorities:Historical responses to newcomers in British society 1870–1914 The German Gypsy question in Britain, 1904–1906 134 59 Google Scholar

Kalvoda, Josef. 1991. The Gypsies of Czechoslovakia. Nationalities Papers. 19(3): 269–96. The Gypsies of Czechoslovakia Nationalities Papers. 19 269 96 Google Scholar

Kaye, Ronald. 1999. The politics of exclusion: The withdrawal of social welfare benefits from asylum seekers in the UK. Contemporary Politics 5(1): 25–45. The politics of exclusion: The withdrawal of social welfare benefits from asylum seekers in the UK Contemporary Politics 5 25 45 Google Scholar

Kenrick, Donald. 1997. Foreign Gypsies and British immigration law after 1945. In Gypsy politics and Traveller identity. Thomas Acton, ed. Pp. 100–10. Hatfield: University of Hertfordshire Press. In Gypsy politics and Traveller identity Foreign Gypsies and British immigration law after 1945 100 10 Google Scholar

Kostelancik, David. 1989. TheGypsies of Czechoslovakia: Political and ideological implications in the development of policy. Studies inComparative Communism 22(4): 307–21. TheGypsies of Czechoslovakia: Political and ideological implications in the development of policy Studies inComparative Communism 22 307 21 Google Scholar

Liégeois, Jean-Pierre. 1994. Roma,Gypsies, Travellers. Strasburg: Council of Europe. Roma,Gypsies, Travellers Google Scholar

Liégeois, Jean-Pierre and Nicolae Gheorghe. 1995. Roma/Gypsies: A European minority. London: Minority Rights Group. Roma/Gypsies: A European minority Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Murray, Charles. 1984. Losing ground:American social policy, 1950–80. New York: Basic Books. Losing ground:American social policy, 1950–80 Google Scholar

Myers, J. 1943. The Greek nomad Gypsies in South Wales during August 1942. Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society. Third series. 22: 84–100. The Greek nomad Gypsies in South Wales during August 1942 Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society. Third series. 22 84 100 Google Scholar

Myers, J. 1945. Supplementary jottings on the customs of some Greek nomad Gypsies. Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society. Third series. 24: 88–94. Supplementary jottings on the customs of some Greek nomad Gypsies Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society. Third series. 24 88 94 Google Scholar

O'Nions. Helen. 1999. Bonafide or bogus? Roma asylum seekers from the Czech Republic.Web Journal of Current Legal Issues. 5(3). http://webjcli.ncl.ac.uk/1999/issue3/onions3.html Google Scholar

Powell, Chris. 1994. Time for another immoral panic? The case of the Czechoslovak Gypsies. International Journal of the Sociology of Law 22: 105–21. Time for another immoral panic? The case of the Czechoslovak Gypsies International Journal of the Sociology of Law 22 105 21 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Sparks, Richard. 1992. Television and the drama of crime: Moral tales and the place of crime in public life. Buckingham: Open University Press. Television and the drama of crime: Moral tales and the place of crime in public life Google Scholar

Ulc, Otto. 1991. Integration of theGypsies inCzechoslovakia. EthnicGroups 9: 107–17. Integration of theGypsies inCzechoslovakia EthnicGroups 9 107 17 Google Scholar

Winstedt, Eric Otto. 1913. TheGypsy coppersmiths invasion of 1911–13. Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society. New series. 6: 244–303. TheGypsy coppersmiths invasion of 1911–13 Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society. New series. 6 244 303 Google Scholar

Yates, Dora. 1942/1943. The 'Greek' nomad Gypsies in Britain, 1929–40. Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society. Third series. 21: 87–110, 22: 9–33. The 'Greek' nomad Gypsies in Britain, 1929–40 Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society 21 87 110 Google Scholar

Young, Mike. 1999. Unwanted journey: Why Central European Roma are fleeing to the UK. London: The Refugee Council. Unwanted journey: Why Central European Roma are fleeing to the UK Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Clark, Colin

Campbell, Elaine