The findings of my research on the social situation of the Roma Community in Athens, Greece, was sent for review at Journal of Tourism History.
Why Not Brand Themselves? Roma of Greece, the Tourist Imaginary and Academic Tourism as a Platform for Social Justice
Journal of Tourism History
Taso G. Lagos, Yash Singh, Andrew Pace, Erik Stone, Hongjun Wu, Hongyi Yan, Shayla Forbes-Luong
The Roma as a minority group in Greece have always lived on the margins of mainstream society. While Greece has historically hosted many minority groups in various relational statuses with the majority, the Roma uniquely embody practical, psychological and metaphorical spaces that sets them apart from other excluded groups. This study regards the historical space that separates the Roma and contextualizes recent developments, such as the economic crisis of the 2010s and Covid-19, that further marginalizes them. We argue that the transactional space that defines relations between Roma and non-Roma encompass a ‘gaze’ (Greek, Roma or tourist gaze) also disenfranchises hope for greater acceptance and respect between majority and minority. The authors, using auto-ethnography, explore their own evolving perceptions of the Roma within the Greek social hierarchy, while suggesting that study abroad programming, as part of academic tourism, can play a positive role in altering perceptions towards minority groups.
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