Martor No. 25 / Year 2020

“What’s the Point of Studying Kinship if You Don’t Connect It to the Broader Power Structure?” A Dialogue (Download PDF)

Authors: 

Angéla Kóczé 

Romani Studies Program, Roma Graduate Preparation Program, Central European University, Hungary

Ana Chirițoiu

Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Central European University, Austria

Pages: 165-171

Keywords: Racialization, othering, exclusion, structural violence, dispossession, Critical Romani Studies.

Abstract: Angela Kóczé, one of the leading sociologists associated with the “Critical Romani Studies” direction, and director of the Roma Graduate Preparation Program at CEU, has a dialogue with this issue’s associate editor, Ana Chirițoiu. They discuss points of contention between “Roma ethnographies” and “critical” scholarship, especially with a view to the relevance of marriage and kinship, this issue’s topics, in relation to the broader issues that Roma are facing. Kóczé argues for an approach that pays more attention to the racialization of the Roma and to the structural processes that shape their lives, and criticizes the euphemistic overtones of the term “ethnicity.” She is decidedly against any “romanticization” of poverty and modes of making-do and of approaches that celebrate “cultural distinctiveness.” Instead, she says, we need to understand the processes of exclusion and dispossession that cause some Roma communities to become closed or isolated. Moreover, Kóczé argues that the reliance on kinship and neopatrimonial practices are just as frequent, if not more, in broader society, and would be best understood comparatively and in a more extensive analysis, rather than through a monolithic focus on Roma.

How to cite this article: Kóczé, Angéla, and Ana Chirițoiu. 2020. “‘What’s the Point of Studying Kinship if You Don’t Connect It to the Broader Power Structure?’ A Dialogue.” Martor 25: 165-171.