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Los Gitanos (Gypsies) in La Corua, Spain: Neither socially included nor integrated?

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Historically throughout Spain, the gitano (Gypsy) culture has been met with racism, discrimination and persecution. In recent years, however, there have been increasing efforts to integrate gitanos into mainstream Spanish society. However, little attention has been paid to the progress in La Corua in Galicia. While gitano numbers do not match those in other parts of Spain, in La Corua over the last 30 years, increasingly the gypsy population has been associated with illicit drug markets, crime and damaging drug use. In the face of protest from the local non-gypsy community, the local council has adopted coercive measures to relocate the gitanos throughout different areas of the city centre in an effort to integrate them into mainstream Spanish society. However, there is still clear division between the local community and the gitanos, and the level to which they are integrated in the local non-gypsy community is not clear. This article explores these issues in detail and offers some preliminary findings from ethnographic research that is being undertaken in La Corua.

Keywords: Gitanos (Gypsies); crime; culture; drugs; social exclusion

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of East London.

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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  • The International Journal of Iberian Studies (IJIS) is the academic journal for scholars from around the world whose research focuses on contemporary Spain and Portugal from a range of disciplinary perspectives. IJIS is interested in history (20th century onwards), government and politics; foreign policy and international relations.
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