Péter Berta

Senior Core Fellow
Period of Stay: 
October 2018 – June 2019
Discipline: 
Anthropology
Institution: 
University College London, United Kingdom / Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary
Project Title: 
Contextualizing Power, Law, and Culture: The Politics of Arranged Marriage among Romanian Roma
Project Abstract: 

The project involves an anthropological research focusing on marriage politics and arranged marriage – often of children – characteristic of the Gabor Roma ethnic population living in Romania. The project, among others,

  • Aims to give a detailed critical analysis of the European media, human rights, and political discourses dealing with the presumed cultural, social, and economic motivations and consequences of arranged marriage among Romanian Roma.
  • Analyzing the experiences of a more than thirty-two-month-long field research, the project examines the ideologies the Gabor Roma use to justify and rationalize the political, social, cultural, and economic significance of arranged marriage interpreted as an essential and inalienable component of their collective cultural heritage, ethnic identity, and belonging.
  • The project also pays special attention to the complex interactions between transnational economic migration, intraethnic politics of difference, and arranged marriage, and to
  • The inner dynamics of the legal classification struggles between Gabor Roma customary law and European Union/Romanian state/church laws.

In short, the project aims to reveal the strategies, practices, and ideologies through which a translocal post-socialist informal economy – the Gabor Roma “market” of arranged marriages – works and flourishes despite the formal disapproval and prohibition represented by the laws of the Romanian state, the Seventh-Day-Adventist Church, and the European Union.