Gypsy Politics and Social Change
The Development of Ethnic Ideology and Pressure Politics among British Gypsies from Victorian Reformism to Romany Nationalism
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This book, first published in 1974, analyses the position of the Gypsies in Britain in the twentieth century, and assesses its significance in their overall history. Two dramatic shifts in Government policy towards the Gypsies are examined – in the 1880s and the 1960s – as are the changes in the stereotype of the ‘true Gypsy’. Dr Acton traces the developments of attitudes and economic conditions that gave rise to the 1970s increase in interest in Gypsies, and discusses the concomitant political and pressure group activity. He gives an account of the historical background to modern Gypsy politics; describes the postwar situation of the Gypsies in England and Wales, including pro-Gypsy pressure group activity up to 1965, and goes on to cover the campaigns of the Gypsy Council, including a sociological assessment of its work. He considers these aspects of Gypsy life in the light of modern sociological theory on minorities and race relations.
Table of Contents
1. General Introduction Part 1. Theoretical Perspectives 2. Introduction to the Literature on Culture and Race Relations 3. Race and Cultural Theory I: Problems of Classification 4. Race and Cultural Theory II: Problems of Development and Change 5. Conclusions on the Uses and Dangers of the Categorising Approach to Ethnic Classification and Cultural Change 6. The Changing Place of Gypsies in the Social and Cultural Structure of England and Wales: From Theoretical to Empirical Perspectives Part 2. Who Are the ‘True’ Gypsies I 7. Gypsies and ‘True’ Gypsies 8. Gaujos and ‘True’ Gypsies Part 3. The Historical Background to Modern Gypsy Politics 9. Gypsy Leadership in Gypsy-Gaujo Relations, 1500-1945 10. The Development of the Gaujo Conscience, 1816-1936 Part 4. The Postwar Situation of the Gypsies in England and Wales 11. The Legal and Economic Situation 12. Pro-Gypsy Pressure Group Activity up to 1965 Part 5. The Campaign of the Gypsy Council 13. The Beginnings of Pressure Group Activity by the Gypsy Council 1962-7 14. Reaction and Recognition, 1967-70 Part 6. Who Are the ‘True’ Gypsies II 15. The ‘Didecai’ As Scapegoat 16. ‘Tinkers’ – the Ultimate Whipping Boys 17. Conclusions on Ethnic and Sub-Ethnic Categorisations as Subjective Factors in Sociological Studies Part 7. The Gypsy Council: a Sociological Assessment 18. The Organisation of the Gypsy Council 19. The Gypsy Council and Gypsy Nationalism Part 8. Towards an Informed Policy on the Gypsies 20. The Economy of the Gypsies 21. Conclusion: the Philosophy of Policy