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IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 379: A Comparative Sociology of Gypsy Traveller Health in the UK

29 Jan 2019

IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 379: A Comparative Sociology of Gypsy Traveller Health in the UK

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph16030379

Authors:
Miranda Millan
David Smith

This paper presents findings from a series of health-related studies undertaken between 2012 and 2017 with Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers living in different locations and in various forms of accommodation in southern England. These set out to develop a sociological understanding of the factors impacting on the health and wellbeing of members of those communities and to consider the extent health status is shaped by ethno-cultural and/or socioeconomic factors, and the interplay and direction of causal processes between them. The relative influences of cultural and structural factors in generating health inequalities have important implications for engaging marginalised populations in health services and preventative programmes. This paper will present survey and qualitative data on Gypsies’ and Travellers’ health beliefs and practices to understand how those beliefs and practices have developed in different social contexts as responses to deeper social mechanisms, and share commonalities with other marginalised and excluded social groups. In policy terms this indicates the need for health interventions that are applied proportionate to the level of disadvantage experienced thus ensuring equality and fairness while accounting for diversity and difference.

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