Becky Taylor

in A Minority and the State

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780719075674
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700853 | DOI:

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Up until 1968, Travellers never had a legally defined ‘right to stop’, ensuring they always existed on the margins of society, tolerated but rarely accepted. Developments in Britain were part of a pan-European trend of assimilation and containment. Central government repeatedly refused to take a lead in site provision. Travellers experienced the ‘false promise of assimilation’, whereby they were expected to become ‘normal’, yet were largely denied the tools for doing so. A widening gap between the style of living of Travellers and the mainstream; a reduction in everyday, economic and unproblematic interactions; and the growing physical isolation of Travellers on ghettoised official sites, all reinforced a sense of alienation. Travellers lost their separate identity status in popular imagination and only very slowly and partially gained it in law.

Keywords: Travellers; Britain; central government; assimilation; law

Chapter.  1879 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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