Accepted paper:

First and foremost we must understand: research among the Roma in the Czech Republic

Authors:

Lenka Jakoubková Budilová (Charles University, Prague)
Marek Jakoubek (University of West Bohemia)

Paper short abstract:

Our contribution will concentrate on a specific position of anthropologists dealing with the Roma/Gypsies, particularly in the Czech and the Slovak Republics. We want to show that the anthropologists have not only the right to do “just anthropology” without any practical engagement, but that this stage of the “anthropology itself” is necessary for realization of any other projects. In other words: what we have to do first and foremost, is to understand.

Paper long abstract:

Our contribution will concentrate on a specific position of anthropologists dealing with the Roma/Gypsies, particularly in the Czech and the Slovak Republics. Roma, being often marginalized, discriminated and unemployed are supposed to be the people who need our help. There is a strong pressure form the part of public opinion, policy-makers, NGO-employees, and especially European structures on anthropologists working in Roma/Gypsy groups that their work should contribute in a way to developmental projects that are aimed at improving the living conditions of the Roma/Gypsies. We assert that the anthropologists have not only the right to do "just anthropology" without any further (practical) consequences, but that this stage of the "anthropology itself" is a necessary precondition for realizing any other projects; or, in another words: that what we have to do first and foremost, is to understand.

panel W044
Anthropology and engagement