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The Gypsy in a Non-Gypsy Economy

Erdmann Doane Beynon
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 42, No. 3 (Nov., 1936), pp. 358-370
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2768002
Page Count: 13
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The Gypsy in a Non-Gypsy Economy
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Abstract

The Gypsies illustrate the manner in which pariah peoples accommodate themselves to economics dominated by groups other than their own. In the division of labor the pariahs usually perform certain functions which are considered too low in status to be performed by the other elements of the economy. Certain occupations, however, though generally allocated to the pariahs, raise their status. Thus, the occupation of musician has been a social elevator for Gypsics in various economies. Since the pariahs are essentially marginal peoples, they live usually both spatially and socially on the periphery of the community in which they find an occupational niche. This marginal position has facilitated at times the changing configuration of their functional relationships. Membership within the pariah group has tended to become identical with participation in their characteristic function.

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