Travellers and Showpeople
The late-twentieth century has witnessed a particular prominence assigned to the discourses of ",difference", and ",Otherness",. An examination of this ",othering", discourse as related to Travellers, Gypsies and Showpeople ennumerates the projective function of the ",Othering", process, a form of rejection and marginalisation that is the institutionalization of ideas which are seldom challenged. The history of Traveller and Gypsy ",Othering", in Europe points to the constant re-articulation of reductionist stereotypes as applied to a wide range of nomadic peoples and the creation of a mythic Traveller/Gypsy prototype that is based on a series of endlessly repeated generalizations which gradually assume the status of an objective ",truth",. This discourse of representation has culminated in powerful institutional attitudes, many of which have influenced official and policy responses to these minorities. This volume brings to surface the ",hidden histories", and discourses of the ",peoples of the road",, those migratory peoples whose unique expressions of identity have often hitherto remained occluded.We live in the era of the Other, the era of ",difference",, the era of migration - that ",stranger", who waits silently at the border crossing, battered suitcase in hand. Travellers and Roma are the archetypal migrants. Perennial ",outsiders",, they are the people who have lived on society's margins for centuries. This volume explores the history of these traditionally migrant peoples within the frame of articulation that is Western literary and visual culture.
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