Romanian techno music (Rominimal) and rave culture in the context of everyday life practices

Lead Research Organisation: University of Exeter
Department Name: Sociology and Philosophy


Euroamericans have recently returned to nature through foraging as capitalism invaded their lives and disconnected them from natural resources. Foraging has been practiced by gatherer-hunters for over 10,000 years. Alongside the development of the nation-state, industry and entrepreneurship, foraging continued to be practiced by marginal people, whose lifestyles became increasingly incompatible with class systems and social prospects in Europe.
After the European Industrial Revolution, Romani communities have been left gathering and scavenging. The demand for their expertise decreased due to the apparition of mass production and mechanization. They were excluded from timed and waged work due to their perceived laziness, inadaptability to the dominant social order, and their moral nonconformity.
This project will investigate the production of livelihoods on the edge of capitalism, and modes of coping with it. I will explicate the mushroom and scrap metal picking of Hungarian Romani migrants in France and reinterpret conventional ideas of economy, social order, work and class. I will study Romani in relation to mushrooms and scrap metal for two reasons. Firstly, all are assumed outsiders. Romani are avoided nonconformists, wild mushrooms are commonly considered toxic, and scrap metal dwells in dumps, an antisocial space for some people. Secondly, edible mushrooms grow between spring and late autumn. In winter, mushrooms pickers adapt, choosing to work with scrap metal. How do the discrimination of Romanian Romani gatherer-entrepreneurs in France, and the perceived dangerousness of wild mushrooms and scrap metal produce marginal livelihoods within capitalism? What place do such collaborative livelihoods hold in France?

1) Overseas fieldwork: I plan to conduct fieldwork in Romania and France. Here, mushrooms, scrap metal and legislation abound. I will deploy multi-sited ethnography due to the movements and transformations of the research participants. Central to my methodology will be participant observation and informal talks. I will join my participants' forages, and, due to its quasi-illegality, I will only observe scrap metal picking. I will visit Romani communities in Romania and France to understand the context of their activities. I also plan to interview institutions that regulate mushroom and scrap metal picking in both Romania and France.

2) Difficult Language Training: I will need to use French and Romanian and French dialects of Romani language. Therefore, it will be extremely beneficial for me project to train in these languages.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000630/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
1927609 Studentship ES/P000630/1 01/10/2017 04/12/2022 Alexandra Onofrei