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greengalloway

As all that is solid melts to air and everything holy is profaned...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Middle Aged Travellers




Tinsel has just given me this book, published in 2000. According to the small print "New Age Travellers offers the first major book length academic study of new Travellers in Britain. " Dr Paul Bagguley, Dept of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds sez " It should be used on a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses as a theoretically sophisticated and empirically unique study of an important political and cultural movement'.

Fast forward to page 175 and the Conclusion....

Over the past twenty years New Age travellers have been important figures in the English landscape. Even when they have chosen to live in Wales, Scotland or other parts of Europe, it is still the issue of England that is affected by them. The anxieties that Travellers have created and the legislation that has subsequently been introduced in an effort to destroy their way of life in recent years have been based around a contested sense of social space that informs our understanding and ways of representing it. The cultural politics that Travellers engage in is a distinctly spacial politics . It is one where ideas of freedom, nomadism, tribalism and harmony with nature are expressed through a carnivalesque, disorderly and mobile outlook on society. The social space that Travellers come to occupy is seen as paradoxical, uncertain and ambiguous, in a word a heterotopia - a place of alternative order , an as-yet-uncertain order....

Destruction of a way of life through legislation. Or as The Mob said in 'Witchhunt'

Killing off anything that's not quite known
Stubbing out progress where the seeds are sown

Still living with the English fear
Waiting for the witch hunt, dear...

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