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‘I Am Not Big, Fat or Just Gypsy’: The Racialised and Gendered Experiences of Gypsy and Traveller Girls in School

  • Geetha Marcus
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Childhood and Youth book series (SCY)

Abstract

This chapter addresses the main research question: How do Gypsy and Traveller girls frame their educational experiences? Marcus begins with a brief explanation of the types of educational establishments to which the Gypsy and Traveller girls had access. The girls’ own definitions and understandings of education and learning respectively are then foregrounded. The next sections highlight their positive experiences alongside the challenges and obstacles that have an impact on their attendance, exclusion, achievement and attainment. The girls share some common experiences, but there is no single narrative. Most cite negative experiences at school and are deterred from attending mainstream educational settings. Their accounts disrupt the anecdotal myths and perceptions by the public and even within education about Gypsy and Traveller girls. Success in attainment and achievement increases where the girls have positive experiences with non-Traveller peers, school staff who demonstrate support without bias, and consistent attendance in school with little or no interruption. Throughout, Marcus reflects on and synthesises the girls’ views with the existing literature in the field and her own views, using an intersectional approach. Where appropriate, comments from stakeholders are also included to compare and contrast different points of view. The final part highlights silences, tensions and contradictions in the findings.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geetha Marcus
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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