Roma Networks

Ethnic Solidarity in an Internet Age?


  • Veronika Nagy Utrecht University, The Netherlands

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Ethnographic studies have hitherto focused on relationships among mobile actors, groups and how inter-ethnic relations are shaped by technologies and online information exchanges. However, little research has included the effects of virtual networks in relation to intra-ethnic structures. Facebook, as a media environment, facilitates ‘doing family’ across distance within transnational families. These routines shape intergroup solidarity through geographic distance by transmitting a selection of inter-ethnic references. What causes people to avoid inter-ethnic references on their Facebook timelines that are controversial, through self-censorship? And what are the social impacts of those choices – if any? How do these transnational socialisation practices ensure solidarity among Roma across borders? These are the questions answered in this paper based on offline and online ethnography of Roma migrant communities. The paper claims that although many coping strategies were learned from other ethnic minorities in the UK, stereotyped messages transmitted a selective narrative about other ethnic groups back to the participants’ countries of origin to uphold ethnicity-based social assurances explained as instruments of ethnic solidarity. In short, the potential liberating power of virtual transnationalism was rather limited, while its potential to help reproduce social asymmetries was more apparent.

Author Biography

Veronika Nagy, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Veronika Nagy is an assistant professor at the Willem Pompe Institute of Criminal Law, Utrecht University. As part of the PhD Program, Doctorate in Cultural and Global Criminology (DCGC) she completed her research on welfare surveillance of Roma migrants and their interaction with social service providers in the European Union. Based on a multi-sited ethnography she explains how newcomer Roma from countries of the Visegrad Group anticipate and circumvent social sorting practices of benefit agencies in London. In her work, empirical methods, security theories and ethnic studies are integrated by her multidisciplinary background. After her Master Criminology she was employed by the Probation Service of The Salvation Army as a probation officer and from 2015 she is teaching and coordinating the bachelor course, International Organised Crime, Criminological Theories and lately she is responsible for the Master Course Security and Cyber Technology. In cooperation with the National University of Public Service, she is involved into the activities of the Research Centre in particular in Policing studies. 




How to Cite

Nagy, V. 2018. Roma Networks: Ethnic Solidarity in an Internet Age?. Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics. 4, 3 (Oct. 2018). DOI:



Transnational Roma Mobilities