Who are Gypsies and Travellers? Why have they been marginalized, stigmatized and persecuted in the past as well as in the present? What is their place in society and in the history of Europe? The authors of this book offer new and refreshing answers to these old questions. They argue that most scholars (and popular authors) have been too deeply influenced by a disputable frame of ethnological thinking. Whereas social construction, categorization and ethnic or racially motivated exclusion have also been of importance for the coming about of various ethnic groups amongst the Travellers. The authors urge the necessity for putting these kind of studies into a general historical and sociological frame. By doing so, links can be made to much wider processes of nationalism, state-formation, migration and ethnicity. Their analyses of the social and economic history of Gypsies and other itinerant groups also offer new insights in their functioning on the labour market.