Left Behind, but (Hopefully) Not for Long: Roma Women in the European Union with a Focus on Germany, Education, and Integration

By Gesa Zinn.

Published by The International Journal of Civic, Political, and Community Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 04, 2014 $US5.00

Schooling and educational experiences for Europe’s largest minority, the Roma and Sinti (Gypsies) are inadequate in the Federal Republic of Germany. In my article I address the diverse groups of Roma and Sinti (refugees and non-citizens and citizens in Germany) as well as their educational opportunities in Germany today. Special emphasis is given to the Romani women who entered the Federal Republic as refugees from former East Block countries after 1989. My article makes reference to programs funded by the European Union and supported by non-governmental agencies and points out small but important steps undertaken by Romani women to better the educational opportunities for themselves and for their people.

Keywords: Educational Opportunities for Minorities, Integration of Refugees, Gender and Education

The International Journal of Civic, Political, and Community Studies, Volume 11, Issue 2, April 2014, pp.1-11. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 04, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 361.117KB)).

Prof. Gesa Zinn

Associate Professor of German Studies, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota, USA

I am Associate Professor of German Studies who teaches German language, culture, literature and film. In my current book project entitled "Female,Urban and Exile: Roma Women in the Federal Republic of Germany," I investigate the gypsies'status as exiles in Germany's larger cities, including the financial and emotional support systems within their family structure and within German society, as well as development opportunities offered by the state, by Germany, by the E.U. and by gypsy organizations in their struggle for self-determination. My ethnographic research on the female urban gypsies focuses on three interrelated questions: (1) What are Roma/Sinti women's everyday strategies for resisting socio-economic marginalization ? (2) How are these complicated by ethnic, gender, class identities and their roles within their family structures? And (3) how do the state/ E.U. and Roma and Sinti organizations support their emotional and material needs? The central research methods I utilize are archival work, participant observation, and interviews. My research fosters interdisciplinary dialogue between social and humanistic sciences, thereby forging crucial linkages between the political economy of development and the politics of representation and identity. I have published on German literature, film, and culture, exile and diaspora and is the co-editor (with Maureen Tobin Stanley) of Exile Through a Gendered Lens (2012, Palgrave Macmillan) and Female Exiles in 20th and 21st Century Europe (2007, Palgrave Macmillan)