Experiencing Distinctiveness at the Margins of the School: Relatedness, Performance and Becoming a Greek Gypsy

Daskalaki, Ivi. 2005. Experiencing Distinctiveness at the Margins of the School: Relatedness, Performance and Becoming a Greek Gypsy. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis focuses on a sedentary Greek Gypsy population in Athens. The arguments presented in this ethnographic study are structured through a discussion of what I call 'the schooling paradox'. This paradox indicates that the children's and adults' acknowledgement of the importance of the school co-exists with the recognition of the incompatibility between Greek Gypsy life and formal education. The degree to which adults entrust in their children the decision whether or not to attend classes, draws attention to the blurred boundaries between Greek Gypsy childhood and adulthood and processes of becoming through which children actively participate in the adults' worlds.

Based on the premise that children are subjects with agency, their views reflect broader perceptions of the Greek state and other institutions. Considering these perceptions, the thesis examines Greek Gypsy projects of identification and explores children's and adults' degrees of participation within wider Greek society. Whilst acknowledging the importance of a specific 'Gypsy' sense of distinctiveness, this study recognises that there is a Greek component to it.

Here, the experience of being a Greek Gypsy is seen as premised on age and gender-specific embodied performances. These performances are principally located within marriage, work and the kinship network and are sustained through the acquisition of knowledge through practice. This thesis argues that the schooling paradox is symptomatic of alternative processes of learning as well as relationships and practices which inform Greek Gypsies' experiences of becoming and belonging. The schooling paradox provides the vehicle for examining the ways through which an individual and a shared sense of Greek Gypsy distinctiveness are primarily sustained and reproduced at the margins of the school.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00028862

Keywords:

Greek Gypsy population, Athens, ethnographic study, schooling paradox, formal education, children, identity, becoming, belonging

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Anthropology

Date:

2005

Item ID:

28862

Date Deposited:

25 Jun 2020 11:12

Last Modified:

25 Jun 2020 11:12

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/28862

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