Bormla: A Struggling Community is a landmark, mixed methods study in which JosAnn Cutajar presents the current situation of the people of this impoverished, historical, European city in the Maltese Islands. Measures that can be taken by the community, the nation and politicians are also presented, to heal the social ills of this city. Research study after research study has shown that communities living in places stigmatized by policy makers, the media and the general population, develop coping skills to acquire alternative resources for this social wellbeing. In Maltese society, resources are often deployed by policy and decision makers who remain not cognizant of the differential needs of communities living in different places. Policies which look neutral on paper are anything but neutral when applied. In this study, Cutajar gives voice to the unheard people of Bormla, brings their needs to the forefront and provides effective resources for change.
JosAnn Cutajar, Ph.D., is senior lecturer, Faculty for Social Wellbeing, University of Malta. She is also chairperson of Cottoner Resource Centre run by the same University. The main expertise and research foci of Cutajar are on the structural factors which lead to social inequality and exclusion, with particular attention to the interactions of gender, race, ethnicity, social class, disability and location.
In Bormla: A Struggling Community, Cutajar explores the differential service provision deployed by a centralized government, the effect of such provision on the people living in stigmatized areas and the manner in which it impacts their efficacy as citizens. Cutajar also explores whether residents living in a particular space are aware of the human and non-human resources available to them, their level of satisfaction with such resources and what alternative networks they resort to, when these resources fail repeatedly to facilitate a certain quality of life.