In your face: Romaphobia and antiracist strategie

Thumbnail Image
Schuechner, Andrea
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The challenges the Roma minority in contemporary Hungary faces cannot be defined in purely socio-economic terms only, but should be framed as relating to racism as one of the root causes for their social and economic dislocation and disadvantaged position compared to the majority population. This paper will try to grasp the various dimensions of romaphobic sentiment amongst the majority population as reflected in racist discourse on the Roma, and the sociological factors that play a role in the pervasiveness of romaphobia in Hungary. The explanatory models of various theories on racism serve as a basis to approach the various levels on which romaphobia in Hungary operates as they define the concepts of individual, intergroup, societal and institutional racism in terms of stereotypization, prejudice and racial discrimination. They will also define the terms of reference for an analysis of some examples of recent Hungarian antiracist programmes and projects. The strategies that are designed and implemented to counter romaphobia amongst the majority population apply different methods and target different audiences. In spite of their apparent heterogeneity, they share one main aspect which can be traced back to a loophole in their conceptual premises: they fail to interrogate the strategies that the majority population employs when constructing national self-images and national identity. Narcissism and ethnocentrism is found to obstruct the process of finding adequate responses to romaphobia and of building an open and inclusive society.
Second semester University: University of Gyor, Budapest.
ethnic identity, Hungary, integration, minority rights, racism, Romanies