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Being damned if you do and damned if you don't - a qualitative study about the life situation of Romanian women who beg in the streets of Malmö.

Ottelid, Matilda LU (2017) MPHN40 20171
Social Medicine and Global Health
Abstract
Title: Being damned if you do and damned if you don’t - a qualitative study about the life situation of Romanian women who beg in the streets of Malmö.

Background: Health is unevenly distributed within and among the countries of the world, and usually follows a population’s socio-economic status. The lower this is, in comparison to others’, the poorer the health. Romania is one of the poorest countries in Europe. Its Roma minority live under more deprived socio-economic conditions than its majority population. During the past years Scandinavia has experienced an influx of poor EU-citizens, who beg in the streets. Most of these are from Romania, and the majority is Roma. While debates on this phenomenon are vivid, the research body on... (More)
Title: Being damned if you do and damned if you don’t - a qualitative study about the life situation of Romanian women who beg in the streets of Malmö.

Background: Health is unevenly distributed within and among the countries of the world, and usually follows a population’s socio-economic status. The lower this is, in comparison to others’, the poorer the health. Romania is one of the poorest countries in Europe. Its Roma minority live under more deprived socio-economic conditions than its majority population. During the past years Scandinavia has experienced an influx of poor EU-citizens, who beg in the streets. Most of these are from Romania, and the majority is Roma. While debates on this phenomenon are vivid, the research body on the experiences of the population in question is scarce.

Aim: The specific aim of this study was to explore the experience of Romanian women who beg in the streets of Malmö, Sweden, focusing on socio-economic living conditions in Romania, daily life in Malmö and coping strategies to deal with their current situation.

Methods: This qualitative study was guided by a Grounded Theory approach. Eight semi-structured individual interviews were conducted. These were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Codes, categories and a conceptual model were constructed and memos were written, in parallel with and after data collection.

Results: The living conditions of the study population, both in Romania and in Sweden, were characterized by a continuous struggle to fulfill basic needs for themselves and their families. They coped with the situation through trying to make a living abroad, through cherishing their social relations and through engaging in a mental act of seesawing.

Conclusion: The study population lives with multiple determinants of poor health, regardless of their efforts to improve their situation. Policy makers should therefore urgently take action to target both underlying and immediate causes of their poor health. (Less)
Popular Abstract
During the past years the Scandinavian countries have experienced an influx of people from Eastern Europe, who beg in the streets. A lot of these persons are from Romania, and many are Roma. This phenomenon is frequently discussed in society, but there is a lack of research about the experience of the ‘beggars’, themselves. What are their living conditions like, and what do they do in order to deal with their situation? Those are the questions that this thesis aims to answer.

The data were collected in Malmö, Sweden. Eight women were interviewed. The interviews were then analyzed and categories, explaining the situation of the women, were created.

The results of the study showed that the women come to Sweden in order to make money,... (More)
During the past years the Scandinavian countries have experienced an influx of people from Eastern Europe, who beg in the streets. A lot of these persons are from Romania, and many are Roma. This phenomenon is frequently discussed in society, but there is a lack of research about the experience of the ‘beggars’, themselves. What are their living conditions like, and what do they do in order to deal with their situation? Those are the questions that this thesis aims to answer.

The data were collected in Malmö, Sweden. Eight women were interviewed. The interviews were then analyzed and categories, explaining the situation of the women, were created.

The results of the study showed that the women come to Sweden in order to make money, because that’s the best option at hand for supporting their families. In Sweden, their living conditions are very difficult. They are worried and stressed, they struggle to be able to satisfy their basic needs and are frequently harassed. This has negative effects on their physical and mental health. Maintaining and creating new social relations is one way for them to endure their situation. Their ways to reason/think about their situation is also important for enduring.

These findings underline just how limited the possibilities are for the group in question to improve its health deteriorating situation. This calls for policy makers to take urgent action to improve the living conditions for the group. This should be done both in Romania, where the roots of the problems lie, and in the host country, where simple measures could make the situation more endurable. (Less)
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author
Ottelid, Matilda LU
supervisor
organization
course
MPHN40 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Begging, Migration, Agency, Coping Strategies, Discrimination, Exclusion, Poverty, Sweden, Malmö, Health Equity, Socio-Economy, Social Determinants of Health, Mental Health, Health, Public Health, Romania, Romanians, Romas, Roma, EU migrants, Vulnerable EU citizens, Beggars, Harassment, Homelessness, Unemployment, anti-Gypsyism.
language
English
id
8915519
date added to LUP
2017-07-17 09:14:31
date last changed
2017-07-17 09:14:31
@misc{8915519,
  abstract     = {Title: Being damned if you do and damned if you don’t - a qualitative study about the life situation of Romanian women who beg in the streets of Malmö.

Background: Health is unevenly distributed within and among the countries of the world, and usually follows a population’s socio-economic status. The lower this is, in comparison to others’, the poorer the health. Romania is one of the poorest countries in Europe. Its Roma minority live under more deprived socio-economic conditions than its majority population. During the past years Scandinavia has experienced an influx of poor EU-citizens, who beg in the streets. Most of these are from Romania, and the majority is Roma. While debates on this phenomenon are vivid, the research body on the experiences of the population in question is scarce.

Aim: The specific aim of this study was to explore the experience of Romanian women who beg in the streets of Malmö, Sweden, focusing on socio-economic living conditions in Romania, daily life in Malmö and coping strategies to deal with their current situation.

Methods: This qualitative study was guided by a Grounded Theory approach. Eight semi-structured individual interviews were conducted. These were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Codes, categories and a conceptual model were constructed and memos were written, in parallel with and after data collection.

Results: The living conditions of the study population, both in Romania and in Sweden, were characterized by a continuous struggle to fulfill basic needs for themselves and their families. They coped with the situation through trying to make a living abroad, through cherishing their social relations and through engaging in a mental act of seesawing.

Conclusion: The study population lives with multiple determinants of poor health, regardless of their efforts to improve their situation. Policy makers should therefore urgently take action to target both underlying and immediate causes of their poor health.},
  author       = {Ottelid, Matilda},
  keyword      = {Begging,Migration,Agency,Coping Strategies,Discrimination,Exclusion,Poverty,Sweden,Malmö,Health Equity,Socio-Economy,Social Determinants of Health,Mental Health,Health,Public Health,Romania,Romanians,Romas,Roma,EU migrants,Vulnerable EU citizens,Beggars,Harassment,Homelessness,Unemployment,anti-Gypsyism.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Being damned if you do and damned if you don't - a qualitative study about the life situation of Romanian women who beg in the streets of Malmö.},
  year         = {2017},
}