With a population numbering 6-4 million people the Roma are among the largest minorities in the EU. The Roma are geographically dispersed and historically, culturally and linguistically heterogeneous. Complex hierarchies have been constructed among the Roma based on authenticity, purity and other values to distinguish between ‘us’ and ‘them’, insiders and outsiders. Practices and meanings are entangled in local and trans-local social relations, places and times.
At the same time, in the current open world, migration has resulted in diffusion with different Romani groups co-existing and being affected by globalisation, new mobilities and transnational networks. Romani is the key language in inter- and intra-group interaction of the Roma in addition to the national languages of the host countries and, in some cases, foreign languages. Meanings, distinctions, performative speech and language attributed to “race” and social and class hierarchy are produced and reproduced among Roma by dynamic processes.
This thematic focus studies historically, culturally and linguistically heterogeneous Romani groups, and the dynamics of their interaction and language practices in particular in the Nordic and Baltic regions. It embraces anthropological, ethnographic, sociolinguistic and sociological approaches and envisages collaborative research projects of varying size, contributing to higher education and participating in a multi-strand impact agenda locally, nationally and at EU level.