Romani identity, cultural trauma, second-class citizenship and the contemporary context for ethnic political representation in Hungary

Roland Ferkovics, Katalin Németh, Kai Arthur Schafft

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

In this paper we discuss cultural trauma with regard to the Hungarian Roma. While the concept of cultural trauma is typically understood as connected to a discrete event and achieves recognition as cultural trauma through a process of broader social recognition, we argue that in the case of the Roma, cultural trauma is characterized not by a particular event but rather by a long history of exclusion, marginalization and persecution. Secondly, the cultural and discursive framing of Roma citizenship as "second-class" (and therefore as not "truly" Hungarian) operates as: 1) a causal factor in the historical trauma of the Roma; 2) a constitutive part of the trauma itself (the trauma as being "othered" while simultaneously having one's traumatic experience denied); and 3) a barrier to the broader recognition and acknowledgment of that traumatic history and experience. We discuss data from recent fieldwork with Romani selfgovernment leaders to discuss how these phenomena manifest themselves as Romani leaders attempt to achieve political agency in the face of contemporary far-right political movements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-93
Number of pages20
JournalPoliticka Misao
Volume54
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

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cultural identity
Hungary
trauma
citizenship
gipsy
leader
social recognition
political movement
event
history
Citizenship
Roma
Political Representation
Cultural Trauma
experience
exclusion
Trauma
History

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

Cite this

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abstract = "In this paper we discuss cultural trauma with regard to the Hungarian Roma. While the concept of cultural trauma is typically understood as connected to a discrete event and achieves recognition as cultural trauma through a process of broader social recognition, we argue that in the case of the Roma, cultural trauma is characterized not by a particular event but rather by a long history of exclusion, marginalization and persecution. Secondly, the cultural and discursive framing of Roma citizenship as {"}second-class{"} (and therefore as not {"}truly{"} Hungarian) operates as: 1) a causal factor in the historical trauma of the Roma; 2) a constitutive part of the trauma itself (the trauma as being {"}othered{"} while simultaneously having one's traumatic experience denied); and 3) a barrier to the broader recognition and acknowledgment of that traumatic history and experience. We discuss data from recent fieldwork with Romani selfgovernment leaders to discuss how these phenomena manifest themselves as Romani leaders attempt to achieve political agency in the face of contemporary far-right political movements.",
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Romani identity, cultural trauma, second-class citizenship and the contemporary context for ethnic political representation in Hungary. / Ferkovics, Roland; Németh, Katalin; Schafft, Kai Arthur.

In: Politicka Misao, Vol. 54, No. 1-2, 01.06.2017, p. 74-93.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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