This study aims to identify, from an ethnographic perspective, how panethnic boundaries are being created between Gitano people and Roma newcomers who have emigrated from eastern to western Europe. This migration has been driven mainly by discrimination and lack of opportunities in eastern Europe after the transition to a new economy. Although Roma immigrants try to keep connected to their regions of origin, changes in their ethnic identities can also be observed when they settle in their new environment. The fieldwork was conducted in a Spanish neighbourhood with a high percentage of Gitanos and Roma immigrants from eastern Europe. Evidence from this research shows how interactions between people from both groups can promote or diminish panethnic identities and the emergence of panethnic institutions. There is mutual identification between the subgroups even though some elements of dissent and rejection may appear. One of the key components to be taken into account in the shaping and institutionalization of a panethnic identity is the presence of dialogic interactions among the Roma people of different subgroups. These interactions give rise, in a hostile context, to a common identity and solidarity among subjects. Indeed, this has been the social and symbolic base that has promoted the incorporation of newcomers in Roma religious institutions. © The Author(s) 2011.
- Roma identity