Chapter

The experience of other minorities

Richard Pugh and Brian Cheers

in Rural social work

Published by Policy Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9781861347213
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303305 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861347213.003.0004
The experience of other minorities

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This chapter examines how the processes of discrimination and differentiation may operate in rural communities. It then identifies some of the minority groups who may be found in rural areas and considers their circumstances: settled black and other minority ethnic groups, Roma and travelling peoples, migrant workers, gay and lesbian groups, linguistic minorities, and asylum seekers and refugees. These accounts are indicative of general experiences and should not be taken as inevitable occurrences in the life of any given individual. This is a crucial point, as the social dynamics of small communities, as well as ‘exposing’ individuals who are perceived as different to the risks of social isolation and marginalisation, may also paradoxically provide opportunities for individual acceptance. The ways in which they are able to do this are varied, but a common factor may be the degree to which small communities provide opportunities for social contact in which individuals from minority backgrounds may be encountered and perceived in ways that free them from the stereotypical assumptions that might usually be made about people like them.

Keywords: Roma; discrimination; differentiation; rural communities; minorities; social dynamics; small communities; migrant workers; asylum seekers; refugees

Chapter.  9445 words. 

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