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‘Outsiders in Urban Society’? An exploration into the off-site experiences and encounters of young Irish Travellers living in South London

Eales, Charlotte 2020. ‘Outsiders in Urban Society’? An exploration into the off-site experiences and encounters of young Irish Travellers living in South London. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Research on Gypsies and Travellers is longstanding within the social sciences, particularly in the fields of housing, healthcare and education. The majority of research in these fields focusses on the relationship between Gypsies and Travellers and policies or on their on-site experiences. Very few researchers have explored the off-site encounters of Travellers in the UK. This research fills a gap in the literature surrounding Gypsies and Travellers through drawing on research surrounding encounters, emotional geographies and education. This research explores these off-site encounters and experiences of young Irish Travellers living in London. Drawing on data gathered from eighteen months of ethnographic field work with a youth club for Irish Travellers in Southwark, interviews and focus groups. Sibley’s ‘Outsiders in Urban Society’ (1981) is central to many of the discussions in geographical research which explores the lives of Gypsies and Travellers in the UK. Therefore, this research will answer the overarching question: ‘In what sense, if at all, are young Gypsies and Travellers still ‘outsiders in urban society’?’ This research explores the ways in which the lives of Irish Travellers might be changing in the UK context. It also explores the role education has on the lives (and aspirations) of young Travellers. In answering this question this research focuses on two main areas of the lives of young Travellers living in London. These are: 1) off-site spaces including public transport and 2) schools. This thesis argues that young Travellers are developing strategies to cope with encounters with non-Travellers and the mobilisation of their emotions within this. Furthermore, it argues that young Irish Travellers have substantial agency in responding to their encounters with non-Travellers. It also argues that argues that despite increasingly interacting with non-Travellers in a variety of setting in their every-day lives, young Travellers largely share the views of older family members and translate these into their own lives and aspirations accordingly.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Submission
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Irish Travellers, young people, education, public space, emotion, encounter, outsiders
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 September 2020
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2020 08:25

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