This study was written in the frame of a project that studied diff erent forms of residential segregation. Using an example it shows how spatial segregation and isolation is produced, and also the role segregation plays in shaping formal and informal everyday strategies in a context where the Roma, a minority group, live in the periphery of the Hungarian majority. The study is based on ethnographic fi eldwork and interviews with inhabitants of the slum. My analysis shows that in the context of spatial segregation the only solid basis of the large family’s livelihood was the aid received from the relatives, as authorities did not support them in solving their social problems (unemployment, dropping out from basic supplies etc.). Examples in this analysis show how the adaptation strategies have changed as part of the regime changes. While before 1989 they had access to more or less legal, formalized work, from the beginning of the 1990s informal adaptation strategies have become widespread in the community. 

Keywords: women and the labour market, family, spatial segregation, subsistence economy

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