Constructing Identities over Time
"Bad Gypsies" and "Good Roma" in Russia and Hungary
Jekatyerina Dunajeva explores how two dominant stereotypes—"bad Gypsies" and "good Roma"—took hold in formal and informal educational institutions in Russia and Hungary. She shows that over centuries "Gypsies" came to be associated with criminality, lack of education, and backwardness. The second notion, of proud, empowered, and educated "Roma," is a more recent development.
By identifying five historical phases—pre-modern, early-modern, early and "ripe" communism, and neomodern nation-building—the book captures crucial legacies that deepen social divisions and normalize the constructed group images. The analysis of the state-managed Roma identity project in the brief korenizatsija program for the integration of non-Russian nationalities into the Soviet civil service in the 1920s is particularly revealing, while the critique of contemporary endeavors is a valuable resource for policy makers and civic activists alike.
The top-down view is complemented with the bottom-up attention to everyday Roma voices. Personal stories reveal how identities operate in daily life, as Dunajeva brings out hidden narratives and subaltern discourse. Her handling of fieldwork and self-reflexivity is a model of sensitive research with vulnerable groups.
About the Author
https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2022.2078390—Raluca Bianca Roman, Ethnic and Racial Studies
"An important contribution to the study of politics and the lived experience of identity on the margins. Dunajeva weaves together impressive historical and empirical research of Romani communities in Hungary and Russia to teach us about nationhood, state power, and the negotiation of belonging. This is a must-read book for students, policy-makers, and activists interested in how identities are shaped and sharpened in schools and why patterns of Roma marginalization persist."—Karrie J. Koesel
"Jekatyerina Dunajeva's very important book provides an excellent and unique historical analysis of ethnic stereotypes developed and mobilized through formal and informal educational institutions. While educational oppression of the Roma population has received considerable attention, few studies provide a rich historical background and tackle the way education shapes and distorts identities. Dunajeva's research fills this gap by exposing the role of education in the creation of the 'other'. A great contribution to the field that still shies away from combining historical analysis with contemporary narrative and inductive methodology."—Joanna Kostka
Other Titles from Critical Romani Studies Book Series
Other Titles in SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / European Studies
Other Titles in Ethnic studies