Advancing marginalisation of Roma and forms of segregation in East Central Europe

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Kovács, Katalin
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The thematic focus of this article is on school segregation and its relationship to residential segregation as manifested in six villages and two towns in adjacent lagging regions of Hungary and Slovakia. The strong correlation of the two was evident in village ghettos but turned out not to be straightforward in mixed communities where a ghetto school can be created through ‘white flight’ of the non-Roma children even if the proportion of Roma in the community is low. Approximately 60% of Roma in these countries live in segregated neighbourhoods, and their children are taught in segregated schools or classes. These two circumstances already indicate overlap in aspects of marginalisation, which reaches an advanced stage in village and town ghettos. The causes leading to advanced marginality, severe poverty and social exclusion of Roma in the studied research sites were found to be similar on the two sides of the border, as were forms of school segregation. Successive waves of exodus of non-Roma from rural to urban areas were identified as common background patterns to ghettoisation in rural spaces. The wide educational gap between Roma and non-Roma that has been maintained and even grown after the fall of state socialism is also a shared disadvantage of Roma in the two countries, restricting the most skilled to precarious wage labour and the least skilled to virtual joblessness. Research results in rural contexts confirmed that if social and spatial (residential) forms of marginalisation overlap, children of segregated neighbourhoods are becoming trapped with rare exceptions by the separating aspirations of non-Roma parents and the segregating practices of the educational systems.
marginalizáció , szegregáció , roma lakosság - Közép-Európa , roma lakosság - Kelet-Európa , közoktatás
Local Economy 30: (7) pp. 1-17. (2015)