From social stigma to the ultimate genre: the Romani dance of Turkey

Girgin-Tohumcu G.

ROMANI STUDIES, vol.24, no.2, pp.137-163, 2014 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 24 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.3828/rs.2014.7
  • Journal Name: ROMANI STUDIES
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.137-163
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The article focuses on Romani dance, which was considered to be an object of social stigma in Turkey, and was not regarded a part of the official national culture until the second half of the twentieth century, when it was officially presented as 'one of the colors of Turkish culture' by changing political ideologies. The description is based on data obtained through fieldwork conducted in Istanbul between 2004 and 2006, and on-going research among the Roma of Turkish Thrace carried out since 2006. Beside the transformations of identity politics in Turkey, the article shows how bodily practices can be used in the act of identity-building and simultaneously carry the potential of destroying the same identity in the future.