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The Conceptual Gypsy: Reconsidering the Swedish case and the General
Uppsala University. (Hugo Valentin-centrum)
2015 (English)In: Antiziganism What’s in a Word?: Proceedings from the Uppsala International Conference on the Discrimination, Marginalization and Persecution of Roma, 23-25 October 2013. / [ed] End,Jan Selling, M. End, H. Kyuchukov, P. Laskar and B. Templer, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015, 1, 120-131 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A too narrow understanding of antiziganism (i e antigypsyism) as racism has often proved unable to detect the ethnic dimension of discrimination, prejudice and persecution of Roma and thus been used in apologetic discourse. In this article, antiziganism is analysed as a discursive formation constituted by the node „conceptual Gypsy“: an essentialist and excluding construct which has developed historically in interacting academic, religious and political discourses. Other than the notions as Romaphobia and anti-Romaism, this social constructionist approach does not focus on majority society´s experience of actual Roma, but on the fictional character of the conceptual Gypsy, which in antiziganist discourse is projected onto Roma and other persons. The research task would be to identify the content and function of the concept in the context at hand. By reference to my historical research on Swedish antiziganism and to international researchers, I discuss modes of antiziganism as based on cultural, social and biological racist concepts. The article argues that the use of certain notions parallel to those of antisemitism research is fruitful. Philoziganism is regarded as a specific mode, which is not primary hostile towards the signified, but still is essentialist and excluding. The notion of structural antiziganism is demonstrated in a critical analysis of the Swedish assimilation project as well as by the deficient implementation of Roma civil and minority rights. The concept of secondary antiziganism is considered as a possible means of analysing ambiguous political positions to Roma rights.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015, 1. 120-131 p.
Keyword [en]
antiziganism, antigypsyism, Sweden, Roma, Resande
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-248965ISBN: 1443872261ISBN: 9781443872263OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-248965DiVA: diva2:801525
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2015-04-09 Created: 2015-04-09 Last updated: 2015-04-09

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