On the threshold: becoming Romanian Roma, everyday racism and residency rights in transition

Rachel Humphris

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11 Citations (Scopus)
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This article examines the reaction of welfare state actors and ‘Romanian Roma’ migrants to the political environment on migration in the UK. Based on the ethnographic fieldwork between January 2013 and March 2014, the article focuses on how processes of everyday racism infused understandings of the legal framework for European migrants’ residency rights. The article first explores how state actors developed ideas about ‘Romanian Roma families’ as opposed to ‘Romanian-not-Roma families’ in a context marked by pervasive uncertainty about legal entitlements, welfare restructuring and decreasing resources. Second, I draw on new migrants’ accounts to identify their perceptions and understandings of discrimination placed within their previous experiences of racism and state violence. The article argues that processes of racialisation are subtly enfolded into everyday life shaping the narratives through which both welfare state actors and new migrants understand their situated experiences and future plans. The article reveals the small and mundane practices that reproduce racialised hierarchies which maintain the notion of ‘Roma’ as a group with particular proclivities and the affects for their socio-legal status as European migrants in the UK.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 15
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Identities
Early online date5 Jun 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jun 2017


  • Roma
  • racialisation
  • welfare state
  • legal status
  • European migration


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