Exploring the social relations of Roma employability
The case of rural segregated communities in Romania
Keywords:Romania, employability, poverty, Roma, institutional ethnography, rural segregated communities
The article reports on a qualitative study of Roma employability in Romania. Being the largest ethnic minority group in Europe, the Roma population is the object of profound marginalization in most of the countries where they reside, by measures such as spatial segregation and exclusion from the formal labour market. This article focuses particularly on the Roma living in rural segregated communities. Inspired by institutional ethnography, the aim is to explore the social organization of rural Roma employability from the standpoint of the Roma themselves. The main obstacles to employment, as they are known and shared by our interviewees, are a lack of available jobs within reach, their own lack of education and a rejection by employers on the grounds of them being Roma. As the analyses show, these obstacles, and the individual’s experiences and knowledge about them, are shaped and maintained by extended translocal relations of administration and governance, thus making the rural Roma dependent on a precarious secondary labour market of low-paid day work for neighbouring farmers. The uncertainty of this work, and the organization and work of everyday life it implies for the people inhabiting these communities, further increases the distance to formal employment. It is this complex set of relations coordinating people’s doings that produce the employability of Roma inhabiting the rural segregated communities.
Berntson, E. (2008). Employability perceptions: Nature, determinants, and implications for health and well-being. Dissertation: Stockholm University.
Boeri, T., Philippis, M. D., Patacchini, E., & Pellizzari, M. (2011). Moving to Segregation: Evidence from 8 Italian cities. Working Papers 390, IGIER, Boccini University.
Cace, S., Preoteasa, A. M., Stănescu, S. M., & Tomescu, C. (2011). Legal and Equal on the Labor Market for Roma Communities: Diagnosis of the factors influencing employment rate in Romanian Roma community. Bucharest: Expert Ed.
Council of Europe (2012). Human Rights of Roma and Travellers in Europe. Commissioner of Human Rights. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing.
DeVault, M., & McCoy, L. (2006). Institutional Ethnography: Using Interviews to Investigate Ruling Relations. In D. Smith (Ed.), Institutional Ethnography as Practice. Lanham, US: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc.
Damm, A. P. (2009). Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Labor Market Outcomes. Quasi-Experimental Evidence. Journal of Labour Economics, 27(2), 281-314.
European Commission (2014). Report on the implementation of EU framework for National Roma Integration Strategies.
Forrier, A., & Sels, L. (2003). The concept employability: A complex mosaic. International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 3(2), 102-124.
FRA – European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (2014). Roma survey – Data in focus. Poverty and employment: The situation of Roma in 11 EU member States. Retrieved from http://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra-2014-roma-survey-employment_en.pdf.
Ghoshal, S., & Bartlett, C. A. (2004). The Individualized Corporation: A Fundamentally New Approach to Management (6. ed.). New York, N.Y.: HarperBusiness.
Harper, K., Steger, T., & Filcak, R. (2009). Environmental Justice and Roma Communities in Central and Eastern Europe, Selected Publications of EFS Faculty, Students, and Alumni.
Kalleberg, A. L. (2009). Precarious Work, Insecure Workers: Employment Relations in Transition. American Sociological Review, 74(1) 1-22.
Kligman, G. (2001). On the Social Construction of “Otherness”: Identifying “the Roma” in Post-Socialist Communities, Review of Sociology 7(2), 61-78.
Lebedinski, L. (2013). Residential Segregation and Labour Market: Outcomes of Roma in Serbia. Unpublished paper. Louvain: IRES, Université Catholique.
Lippai, C., Strnadová, L., Toušek, L., 2011, Housing Conditions and Spatial Segregation of the Roma in the Czech Republic and Hungary: A Case Study Comparison. RESPECT Project Working Paper Series, No. 13/2011.
Lazăr, T.A., Dincă, M., Ungureanu, R., Sandvin, J., Breimo Paulsen, J., Fyling, I., Bîrneanu, A. (2015). The Compatibility Between the Current European and Romanian National Framework of Labour Market Integration of Roma. Retrieved from: http://www.e-qual-see.ro/?page_id=192.
McCoy, L. (2006). Keeping the Institution in View. Working with Interview Accounts. In D. Smith (Ed.), Institutional Ethnography as Practice. Lanham, US: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc.
Milikowski, M. (2000) Exploring a Model of De-Ethnicization: The Case of Turkish Television in the Netherlands. European Journal of Communication, 15(4), 443-468.
Mionel, V., & Gavris, A. (2015). Administrative Policies in Urban Segregated Spaces. The Case of the Romanian Ghettos. Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences. 45(E), 116-135.
Moisă, F., Rostaș, I. A, Tarnovschi, D., Rădulescu, I. S. D., & Andersen, T. S. (2013). Raportul societăţii civile asupra implementării Strategiei Naţionale de Integrare a Romilor și a Planului de Acţiune al Deceniului în România în 2012. [The Report of the civil society regarding the implementation of the National Strategy for Roma Integration and the Action Plan of Roma Decade in Romania in 2012] Budapest: Decade of Roma Inclusion Secretariat Foundation.
Ng, R. (1981). Constituting Ethnic Phenomenon: An Account from the Perspective of Immigrant Women. Canadian Ethnic Studies, 13(1), 97-108.
O’Higgins, N., & Ivanov, A. (2006). Education and Employment Opportunities for the Roma. Comparative Economic Studies, 48, 6-19.
Pinet, J. (2009). Les Roms, entre reconnaisssance et exclusion: Essai de synthèse sur la situation des Roms en Belgique, ATD Quart Monde Wallonie-Bruxelles, Retrieved from http://www.atd-quartmonde.be/Les-Rroms-entre-reconnaissance-et.html, p. 14.
Precupețu, I. (2013). Inequality trends in Romania. Quality of Life, 24(3), 249-276.
Preoteasa, A. M., Șerban, M., & Tarnovschi. D. (2012). Situaţia romilor în România, 2011. Între incluziune socială și migraţie [The Roma condition in Romania, 2011. Between Social Exclusion and Migration], Bucharest: Soros Foundation Romania.
Preoteasa, A. M. (2015). Munca precara, solutie pentru populatia vulnerabila din mediul rural [Precarious work, a solution for the vulnerable population in rural areas] Calitatea vietii [Quality of Life], 26(1), 36-59.
Radu, M. (2011). Romania, Promoting Social Inclusion of Roma. European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion,
Reich, M., Gordon, D. M., & Edwards, R. C. (1973). Dual Labor Markets: A Theory of Labor Market Segmentation. American Economic Review, 63(2), 359-365.
Respect (2011). Towards a Topography of Tolerance and Equal Respect. European Policy Brief, 2011(December). European Commission. Retrieved from http://respect.iusspavia.it/files/policybriefs/RESPECT_POLICY%20BRIEF_regeneration_of_areas_inhabited_by_minorities.pdf
RNSI (Romanian National Statistics Institute) (2012). Final Results of the 2011 Census of Population and Households. Retrieved from www.recensamantromania.ro.
Smith, D. (1987). The Everyday World as Problematic: A Feminist Sociology. Boston: Northeastern University Press.
Smith, D. (2005). Institutional Ethnography: A Sociology for People. The Gender Lens Series. Oxford: AltaMira Press.
Strati, F. (2011). Promoting Social Inclusion of Roma: A Study of National Policies. European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.
Sykora, L. (2009). New Socio-Spatial Formations: Places of Residential Segregation and Separation in Czechia. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 100(4), 417–435.
Sharma, N. (2001). On Being Not Canadian: The Social Organization of “Migrant Workers” in Canada. Canadian Review of Sociology, 38(4), 415–439.
The World Bank Group (2014). Diagnostics and Policy Advice for Supporting Roma Inclusion in Romania. Report prepared by the Human Development and Sustainable Development Teams Europe and Central Asia.
Voicu, M. (2007). Nevoi și resurse în comunitățile de romi. [Needs and resources in Roma comunities] Bucharest: Soros Foundation Romania.