Ana Chiritoiu

Short presentation

I am a social anthropologist working at the intersection of legal, moral, and political anthropology. I've been conducting research with Roma in Eastern Europe for over a decade now, both as an academic and as an engaged researcher. I am especially interested in how the social exclusion of Roma reflects onto the Roma’s own notions and practices of kinship, social order, exchange, and moral norms. These topics inform my envisaged book, titled 'Making Virtue Out of Necessity In a Romanian Mahala.'


  • central and eastern europe
  • conflict resolution
  • ethnographic theory
  • family and kinship studies
  • hierarchy
  • romanies
  • social exclusion


I received my PhD from the Central European University (2022, Vienna). My thesis, titled 'Making Virtue Out of Necessity In a Southern Romanian Mahala,' is a holistic ethnography of inequality, social order, and virtue, examining how the Roma from a marginal neighborhood in southern Romania attempt to assert themselves in a non-Roma social landscape that denies them access to basic resources and, what is perhaps even more vexing, dignity.

In 2010, I completed an MA in Anthropology and Community Development (National School of Political and Administrative Studies, Bucharest), and in 2012 I completed a second MA in Sociology and Social Anthropology (Central European University, Budapest). Before embarking on my PhD, I worked for several years as an engaged researcher for a community development NGO in Bucharest, Romania, on topics such as labor, access to education, social marginalization, and post-conflict intervention. In 2013 I co-authored (with Ana Ivasiuc) a collection of Romani life-stories in collaboration with Unicef.

In 2019, the CEU Doctoral Research Support Grant enabled me to spend a semester as Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London, and in 2020 I was awarded a writing-up fellowship by the ‘Law & Anthropology’ Department of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle (Saale). In 2022, I participated as a trainer in the judicial training organized by MPI and the European Judicial Training Network, on the topic 'Cultural Diversity in the Courtroom: Judges facing new challenges.'

As of 2019, I have been an editor of the Anthropology Matters Journal, issued by the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK. Previously, I completed a BA in Philology (Bucharest, 2007) and worked for several years in the literary industry as an editor and as a translator. I'm therefore interested in experimenting with various genres of writing ethography and in making anthropology accesible to wider publics.


I am a social anthropologist working with Roma in Eastern Europe for over a decade now, both as an academic, and as an engaged researcher. My research explores how the social exclusion of Roma reflects onto the emic ideologies that underpin the social reproduction of 'Romaniness.' In particular, I am interested in how the Roma's emic processes of social ordering shape their resilience in both material and ideological terms. Most broadly speaking, my research unpacks the connections between legal, moral, and political regimes among Europe’s most marginal population, and seeks to speak to legal and moral imaginaries among other vulnerable populations as well.

My current book project, which draws on 16 months of ethnographic research in a marginal Roma neighborhood in southern Romania, describes how Roma attempt to circumvent marginalization through the cultivation of virtue, especially in the spheres of kinship, social order, and vernacular law. Theoretically, the book seeks to overcome the stalemate between ‘suffering,’ ‘otherness,’ and ‘resistance’ that characterises much contemporary research on marginality, and offer a new theoretical synthesis of virtue ethics and political economic approaches.

My future research project examines the challenges that the Roma’s long-term migration to Scandinavia and North America poses for the reproduction of their moral community, and the role of social media in mitigating these challenges.


Recent publications

All publications




Ana Chiritoiu