Precarious living in liminal spaces: neglect of the Gypsy-Traveller site




Journal Title

Journal ISSN


Volume Title


Taylor and Francis



Peer reviewed



Gypsy and Traveller sites are precarious and liminal spaces to live. Insufficient in number and below standard in management and maintenance - the impact can result in poorer health and education outcomes, but also reduced community cohesion in society where conflicts occur over perceived values of spaces and of people. This article explores the precarious lives of Gypsies and Travellers who pursue a nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyle, and seeks to show how neglected or insufficient accommodation impacts on their perceived identity and exclusion. It examines the problems created by the neglect of the Gypsy-Traveller site and attempts to develop a framework for better understanding the precarity of such groups, who are seen to be different because of the spaces they inhabit. In developing a more nuanced framework of precariousness, particularly focusing on the overlap of relative and perceived precarity in liminal spaces, the article highlights the marginal position of Gypsies and Travellers resident on sites and suggests that control is still exercised by the state over these ‘ghetto-like’ spaces, sometimes through neglect and sometimes through a move towards ‘mainstreaming’ management. The article helps to develop an understanding of Gypsy-Traveller site management, marginalisation and control, through the lens of precarity and within a frame of emerging theoretical concepts of the ghetto.


The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.


Gypsy, Traveller, Site, Precarity, Liminal, Ghetto, Conflict


Richardson, J (2017) Precarious living in liminal spaces: neglect of the Gypsy-Traveller site. Global Discourses, 7(4), pp.496- 515


Research Institute

Local Governance Research Centre (LGRC)
Centre for Urban Research on Austerity (CURA)