Abnormalising minorities. The state and expert knowledge addressing the Roma in Italy

Picker, G. and Roccheggiani, G. (2014) Abnormalising minorities. The state and expert knowledge addressing the Roma in Italy. Identities, 21(2), pp. 185-201. (doi: 10.1080/1070289X.2013.854719)

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This article expands the research on abnormalisation and the construction of social deviance of minorities. It focuses on the relationships between state practices, policies and expert knowledge addressing the Roma in Italy; it does so by first contextualising recent ethnographic findings on Turin authorities’ social inclusion practices addressing Roma within the history of national and regional policies for Roma; it then contextualises those policies within the history of expert knowledge about Roma. Unlike what other studies on abnormalisation suggest, we argue that the abnormalisation of Roma in Italy is not primarily predicated upon the idea that they are at present unfit to follow the norms of the majority; rather, it stays upon a historically rooted representation of Roma oscillating between the poles of potential re-educability and potential dangerousness. In the conclusion we encourage further comparative research on abnormalisation, especially including practices and knowledge addressing other European minorities such as the Jews.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Picker, Dr Giovanni
Authors: Picker, G., and Roccheggiani, G.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Identities
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1547-3384
Published Online:09 December 2013

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