Questioning Gypsy Identity: Ethnic Narratives in Britain and America

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Rowman Altamira, 2005 - 203 pages
Brian Belton's powerfully original book examines Gypsy lives against the framework of social theories that illustrate how identity arises out of the cultural complexity of individual biographies, families, and communities. Addressing the lack of contextual and social perspectives in the existing literature and the underlying assumption of a consistent Gypsy lineage, he explores the subject of identity to include the broader social context in which the population exists. He argues that Gypsy identity is created and maintained not only by tradition and heredity, but also by social and ideological factors that give rise to the "ethnic narrative" of Gypsy identity. Growing up in an English Gypsy family, Belton offers a unique "outsider-insider" perspective to Questioning Gypsy Identity, writing what are essentially stories of people--how they are made, their social force, and what they collectively create.


A Gypsy Lineage
The Ethnic Gypsy
Defining American Gypsies
Historical Genesis of American Gypsies
Gypsies in Social Bondage
Ethnicity as Narrative
Colonialism and the Gypsies
Defining Legislation
Toward a New Paradigm of Gypsy Identity
The Gypsy Lore Society GLS
About the Author 000

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About the author (2005)

A renowned scholar and community leader, Brian A. Belton's career is a product of his Gypsy and working class background, and his experiences of growing up in the youth gang culture of London's East End in the 1970s. Notorious for his innovative, inspirational, and challengingly radical lectures, he advances a message of equality that resonates with scholars as well as the public at large. A prolific writer for both the academic and popular audiences, he is the author of a number of oral and sporting histories, including The First and Last Englishmen,Hammering 'Round, Founded on Iron, and Johnnie the One as well as scholarly works, including Gypsy and Traveller Ethnicity, forthcoming from Routledge. He is senior lecturer at the YMCA George Williams College in Canning Town, East London.

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