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Gypsies/Travellers and health: risk categorisation versus being 'at risk'

Gypsies/Travellers and health: risk categorisation versus being 'at risk'

Ruston, Annmarie and Smith, David (2013) Gypsies/Travellers and health: risk categorisation versus being 'at risk'. Health, Risk & Society, 15 (2). pp. 176-193. ISSN 1369-8575 (Print), 1469-8331 (Online) (doi:

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Risk categorisation provides a routine and necessary contribution to the way people make sense of and impute predictability in a complex human world of which their knowledge is limited. It is a precursor to the development of risk management strategies. Risk categorisation schemes can vary depending on the underlying perspective and knowledge used in their construction. There are estimated to be between 120,000 and 300,000 Gypsies and Travellers in the United Kingdom. They have been categorised on the one hand as a group that is ‘at risk’ suffering wide-ranging inequalities and on the other they can be seen as the archetypical ‘other’ posing risks to normative stability. Public policies to manage their health risks have been limited in contrast to policies to address their ‘otherness’ status which have aimed to exclude, relocate and forcibly remove them from public space. Little is understood about the way in which Gypsies and Travellers categorise and manage the risks to their health within the context of adverse public policies. In-depth qualitative interviews were undertaken during 2010 and 2011 with 39 Gypsies and Travellers aged between 18 and 66 years comprising 20 females and 19 males living in an area of South East England. Respondents framed risk in terms of threats to their health, culture and traditional way of life and issues of trust were central to this. They sought to devise risk management strategies that would maintain boundaries between their community and outsiders who were perceived to be the source of risks to their health. A consequence of their risk management strategies was the potential perpetuation of threats to their health and well-being.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Copyright - Taylor & Francis and Routledge Journals Open Access arrangements for Subscription Journals. From: "You can also choose to publish in a subscription journal and after an embargo period deposit the Author’s Accepted Manuscript of your article to a disciplinary or institutional repository. Embargo periods are normally between 12 and 18 months, depending on the journal." i.e. Green Open Access. The green open access route is when an article is deposited to a disciplinary or institutional repository. For Health, Risk & Society the embargo period is 12 months.
Uncontrolled Keywords: containment, dispersal, stigma, health, Gypsies, Travellers, risk management, risk, risk categorisation, uncertainty
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Health & Social Care
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:22

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