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"Zigenaren som zigenare": En facklitterär konstruktion i långt perspektiv
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, The Hugo Valentin Centre.
2013 (Swedish)In: Scandia, ISSN 0036-5483, Vol. 79, no 1, 11-37 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article analyzes Swedish antiziganism (anti-Gypsyism) in a long term perspective as a discursive formation deriving from the ”conceptual gypsy”: a historically constructed image out of social, religious and racial prejudice that is being projected onto Roma and other persons. The source material is selected in order to discuss intertextuality between nonfictional gypsology literature of the 18th and the 20th Centuries: the influential work of the German historian Heinrich Moritz Grellmann compared to the Swedish doctoral dissertations of Samuel P. Björckman (1730) and Laurentius Rabenius (1791), the threefold documentary Zigenare of the popular working writer Ivar Lo-Johansson (parts first published in 1929, 1955 and 1963), the civil rights intervention of Katarina Taikon out of a Roma discourse position (Zigenare är vi from 1963) and finally Karl-Olov Arnstbergs controversial study Svenskar och zigenare (1998). The article stances a strong link between the academic antiziganism of the 18th and the 20th centuries: the notion of Roma culture as essentially antisocial thus to be combated by forced assimilation, immigrating Roma as ungrateful to the generosity of the hosts and antiziganism as caused by Roma behaviour. The continuity is obvious as well in the use of reoccurring reference codes, such as typologies of crimes labelled as ”Gypsy”, whose appearance in a circular way are being used as argument for the pasting of the label Gypsy on actual and supposed Roma. The study also makes biological racism visible as part of Swedish antiziganism and in the case of Lo-Johansson clarifies the meaning of philoziganism as excluding and essentialist in its romantic projections on Roma. Further, the article shows that ”zigenare” (Gypsy) in Swedish is unambiguously linked to a pejorative discourse: though in all discussed works derived out of references to, but not always referring to Roma, and thus considered unsuitable as well as unethical as analytical notion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Scandia, 2013. Vol. 79, no 1, 11-37 p.
Keyword [en]
Antiziganism, anti-Gypsyism, philoziganism, discourse analysis, Sweden
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-202144OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-202144DiVA: diva2:631048
Available from: 2013-06-20 Created: 2013-06-20 Last updated: 2013-10-25Bibliographically approved

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