January 19, 2022
4 tables, 17 figures
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1 Pounds (US)
$65.00 USD, £47.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

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

Jekatyerina Dunajeva is Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest.


"Where the book by Jekatyerina Dunajeva differs from others is in its combination of historical and ethnographic study, in the richness of the material explored and analysed and in the ways in which it problematizes the very labels it analyses. The key strength of the book lies in its attempt to offer new and critical perspectives in the study of Roma identity and Roma ethnicity, over time. It thus provides a wonderful addition and contribution to the field of Romani Studies, while also being of interest to scholars of ethnicity, nationalism, European history and minorities more broadly."
https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2022.2078390—Raluca Bianca Roman, Ethnic and Racial Studies

"This is a profoundly interesting book, if also not, in its argumentation and conclusions, an especially original one. Written in an accessible style and intended for a general audience, Dunajeva's monograph is based on a solid documentary base. Her ethnographic research in Roma communities makes the work a substantial contribution to Romani scholarship."—Steven Usitalo, The Russian Review


"Constructing Identities over Time is a ground-breaking book both in its breadth and depth. Jekatyerina Dunajeva boldly compares the construction of Romani identities in Hungary and Russia from the vantage point of both states/institutions and communities. Her thorough historical research on socialism/postsocialism in two locations show how Roma have strategized around stereotypical labeling embedded in multiple exclusions. Combining political theory with fine-grained ethnographic fieldwork, Dunajeva takes us inside school classrooms, playgrounds and lunchrooms, and into NGOs and community life, while always honestly reflecting on her own positionality. This book should be required reading for all students and scholars of Eastern Europe."—Carol Silverman

"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

9789633864159 : constructing-identities-over-time-dunajeva
238 Pages
$65.00 USD

Other Titles from Critical Romani Studies Book Series

Mobilizing Romani Ethnicity

Anna Mirga-Kruszelnicka, foreword by Ethel Brooks
Oct 2022 - Central European University Press
$85.00 USD - Hardback

Romani Liberation

Jan Selling
Jun 2022 - Central European University Press
$75.00 USD - Hardback

Other Titles in SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / European Studies

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945, Volume IV

edited by Geoffrey P. Megargee, with contributions by Mel Hecker
Apr 2022 - Indiana University Press
$20.00 USD - Hardback

Nation and Migration

György Csepeli, Antal Örkény
Feb 2021 - Central European University Press
$65.00 USD - Hardback

Roma-Gypsy Presence in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

Lech Mróz
Nov 2016 - Central European University Press
$90.00 USD - Hardback

Other Titles in Ethnic studies

Soundies and the Changing Image of Black Americans on Screen

Susan Delson
Dec 2021 - Indiana University Press
$85.00 USD - Hardback
$35.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Music in Arabia

edited by Issa Boulos, Virginia Danielson, Anne K. Rasmussen, with contributions by Scheherazade Hassan, Ghazi al-Mulaifi, Jean Lambert, Ahmad AlSalhi, Aisha Bilkhair, Yassine Ayari, Majid H. al-Harthy, Kay Hardy Campbell, Khalid Albudo...
Sep 2021 - Indiana University Press
$100.00 USD - Hardback
$36.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Nation and Migration

György Csepeli, Antal Örkény
Feb 2021 - Central European University Press
$65.00 USD - Hardback