Geografie 2016, 121, 544-565

Socially excluded localities revisited

Jakob Hurrle1, Luděk Sýkora1, Lucie Trlifajová2, Petr Kučera1

1Charles University, Faculty of Sciences, Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, Prague, Czechia
2Charles University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public and Social Policy, Prague, Czechia

Received July 2015
Accepted March 2016

This contribution critically assesses the use of the term “socially excluded (Roma) locality” in politics and in the practice of the Czech public policy towards the situation of the Roma minority. The paper first offers an overview of the genesis of the term within the development of Czech public policy towards Roma. In its conceptual part, it discusses its relation to theoretical concepts of ghetto and social exclusion. An empirical study of four localities, which were denoted as socially excluded, reveals a surprisingly great variety of conditions within these places. The authors argue that there is a tendency of an inflationary use of this term, which is guided by the presence of Roma while often abstracting from the issue of social exclusion.


The authors wish to acknowledge the support from the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic project No. P404/12/0648, “New socio-spatial formations: Segregation in the context of postcommunist transformations and globalization” and from the Grant Agency of the Charles University in Prague project No. 1576214, “Double marginalization. Determinants of exclusion and potentials for inclusion of Roma in rural Czech municipalities”. The paper also reflects empirical insights gained during field work which was partly conducted in the form of research assignments for the Czech Agency for Social Inclusion.


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