This introduction from Andrea Óhidy and Katalin R. Forray provides a brief overview of the social and education situation of European Roma and also about the structure of this book. Roma are here described as a ‘hidden minority’ (see the country study about Italy from Valeria Cavioni), because – although they are the largest minority group living in Europe for more than a hundred years – we still know very little about them. Although most of the Roma people have been living for centuries in European countries, their situation is still different from the non-Roma population; they often suffered from poverty and exclusion. There is a host of Roma, especially in Southern and in Eastern Europe, who is considered to be the most disadvantaged group in European societies, for example, regarding their (1) health situation, (2) on the labour and (3) on the housing market and (4) also in education. Questions of education are the central elements of politics making the situation of Roma better. To fulfil these requirements some European countries have taken determined steps. As Natascha Hofmann in the country study about Germany wrote, we are in the phase of the ‘dawn of learning’ because there are more and more policies and programs to develop attainment and success of Roma in European education and lifelong learning. This book gives an overview about retrospective and prospective tendencies in the situation of European Roma in education and lifelong learning.
We would like to thank all contributors, especially the authors of the country studies. They are experts who often not only describe and analyze the (education) situation of the Roma minority in their countries but also take part in policy-making, program-developing and practical realization to improve the Roma inclusion policies of the European Union. Some of them are members of the Roma minority themselves. This allows an important new scientific perspective: not only to write about Roma but to let them participate in discourses about themselves. The editors hope that this participation will increase in the future.
All chapters of this book underwent a blind peer review process by two colleagues. We also had some kind help from native speakers. We would like to thank them all for their marvellous work! Special thanks to Michael Forrest Baxter, Lia Boldt, Mary Carmody, Robin Valerie Cathey, Carmel Cefai, Matthias Eickhoff, Katarzyna Jagielska, Solvejg Jobst, Tamás Kozma, Nina Ortmann, Ludmila Rigova, Eva-Maria Strittmatter, Kerstin Wedekämper and John Ziesemer for their kind help.
Forray, K.R. and Óhidy, A. (2019), "Introduction: Lifelong Learning and the Roma Minority in Western and Southern Europe", Óhidy, A. and Forray, K.R. (Ed.) Lifelong Learning and the Roma Minority in Western and Southern Europe, Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-83867-263-820191004Download as .RIS
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