University of Leicester
2018BYRNEMDSocSci.pdf (1.65 MB)

Ethnic Identity, Acculturation, And Labour Market Participation In Marginalised Communities: The Case Of The Roma Of Shuto Orizari, Macedonia

Download (1.65 MB)
posted on 2018-11-07, 12:48 authored by Michael Byrne
The Roma of Central and Eastern Europe are a large minority group that experience widespread marginalisation and social hardship. This research is focused on a substantial Roma community in the Republic of Macedonia, called Shuto Orizari. The work explores the construct of ethnic identity for this group, the way they participate in society through their acculturation orientations, and the influence these factors have on outcomes within the labour market. Seventeen people took part in the study across a range of backgrounds and a standpoint methodology was used to articulate the views of social reality for the participants. Information was collected through semi-structured interviews to which grounded theory was then applied. The findings support existing theories on the construct of ethnic boundaries and social identity. ‘Being Roma’ is important to all who took part in the study, yet unlike other Roma communities this identity is free and unthreatened. Participants chose two ways to acculturate in society; roughly half of the participants integrated with the majority ethnic Macedonian community and portrayed a comfortable balance with their heritage culture often not seen in other Roma communities. The remaining participants followed a separatist path within purely Roma circles. This introversion produced extremely negative outcomes, most notably the poor psychological and sociocultural experiences within the labour market. The work concludes that although modes of identity construct within this community are different to other Roma groups, a person’s acculturation orientation can still dramatically affect life outcomes. This conclusion can help steer policies to improve the experiences of social participation for the Roma of Shuto Orizari, or potentially other large ethnic groups.



Courtney, Richard; Hopkins, Ben

Date of award


Author affiliation

Centre for Labour Market Studies

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • DSocSci



Usage metrics

    University of Leicester Theses


    No categories selected



    Ref. manager