Sindy Joyce
Friday, 3 February 2023

Sindy Joyce, a PhD student with the Department of Sociology, was interviewed on the Late Late Show on Friday September 23rd in connection with her involvement in a new documentary series “The Travellers”. View on RTE Player.

The three part documentary, hosted by John Connors, began airing on Wednesday the 28th of September at 9:35pm. Sindy, who has an MA in Sociology (Youth, Community and Social Regeneration) from the University of Limerick, acted as historical consultant and content advisor to the series, which revisits the history of Irish Travellers, in particular through gathering oral histories from members of the Traveller community.

A PhD researcher at the University of Limerick, Sindy’s doctoral work examines how anti-Traveller racism shapes young people’s use of and movement through urban public space. Her research adopts an ethnographic approach to provide new insights into Traveller relations with the settled community and how these shape Travellers’ movement through the city. Specifically, this research examines how young Irish Travellers’ (aged 14-21) movements through, access to and use of public and commercial space is impacted by their social location, with particular reference to ethnicity, youth and gender. The research adopts a qualitative ethnographic framework, with data collection encompassing qualitative focus groups, one-to-one interviews and observation. Although still a work in progress, the research demonstrates that although Traveller ethnicity has not been recognised in Ireland, the stereotyping and stigmatising of Traveller cultural identity nonetheless influences young Travellers’ spatial encounters. Their spatial practices evidence defense mechanisms deployed in response to encounters with and expectations of hostility towards their identity as Travellers.

Sindy is co-supervised by Dr. Amanda Haynes and Dr. Martin Power of the Department of Sociology, University of Limerick.

Sindy’s scholarship has been recognized on a number of occasions: She is a former recipient of the competitive and prestigious the Irish Research Council postgraduate scholarship and won the University of Limerick AHSS Registrar’s scholarship.

Sindy was published in the Irish Journal of Anthropology in 2015. She was awarded the 2014 Traveller Pride award for Education. Sindy is an active media commentator with respect to Traveller issues and has been interviewed for RTE and the Irish Times.