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The editorial team warmly welcome Mrs. Professor Lena Dominelli, and Mr. Professor Malcolm Payne, two prominent internationally social work personalities who have kindly accepted to be part of our journal’s International Advisory Board starting with issue no. 1/2010.
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Homepage > Archive > Numar: 3 > Internal versus External Ethnic Identification of Roma: Implications for Social Inclusion in Romania

 Internal versus External Ethnic Identification of Roma: Implications for Social Inclusion in Romania

  • Carmen Buzea (Transylvania University of Braşov, Department of Social Sciences and Communication, 500036 Eroilor, 29, Braşov, 0040268/477965, E-mail:
  • Radosveta Dimitrova (Stockholm University, Frescati Hagväg 14, SE-106 91, Stockholm, Sweden, E-mail:

The Roma represent the most relevant and sizable ethnic minority across Europe with estimates varying from 10 up to 15 million of people. However, discrepancy in external (ascribed by others) and internal or self-defined ethnic identification of Roma are largely present in Europe and Romania in particular. We set out to explore internal and external ethnic identification of Romanian Roma by investigating Roma communities from 58 Romanian sites (10 cities and 48 villages), based on data collected from local experts (policemen, teachers, social workers, religious leaders). Results showed that: a) external ethnic identification (identification made by others) is three times higher than the official census data and the extreme poverty is the common characteristic of Roma communities; b) according to local experts, main markers to identify Roma refer to geographic proximity, extreme poverty, poor living conditions and enlarged family size. Implications for social inclusion programs at local and European level are discussed along with directions for future research.

Keywords: Roma, ethnic identity, internal identification, ethnic markers