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Fri, 07 Sep 2012 11:51:53 EDT by admin, 113200 views
Cultural Studies paper by Tyeklar, Nora (all papers)
Discriminatory Discourse as the Means to Political Ends
Coinciding with the 2008 global economic downturn has been an escalation in violent attacks and intimidation against Roma and the resurgence of extremist groups with explicit anti-Roma agendas all across Europe. The Roma face widespread discrimination as social institutions and other elites have not only been complicit in the reproduction of prejudiced discursive representations, but also in allowing or denying access to social goods for subordinated minorities. The geographical scope of this study will be limited to Hungary in order to focus the contextualization and develop a more in-depth investigation into the discursive mechanisms used to rationalize discriminatory rhetoric and naturalize the criminalization of a subordinated demographic. While human rights groups have published reports criticizing the way the Hungarian government and local police forces have handled such incidents, this study will focus specifically on exposing how Jobbik, Hungary’s right-wing nationalist political party, uses discriminatory discourse in their founding documents as a means to gain more political supporters through a positive self-representation and simultaneously blame economic hardships on the Roma, which ultimately leads to the reproduction of prejudiced attitudes and their further marginalization.
Drawing from Ruth Wodak’s historical-discourse approach to critical discourse analysis and Teun van Dijk’s investigations of discriminatory discourse, this study will attempt to make explicit how the Jobbik party is complicit in reproducing discriminatory practices against the Roma, how such discriminatory discourse continues their marginalization and serves as an obstacle to their social integration, and how power relationships are generated and sustained through linguistic mechanisms within particular historical contexts and existing social structures.
Brief Professional Bio:
Nora Tyeklar is a graduate student at University Massachusetts Boston studying Applied Linguistics. She graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor’s degree in English, minoring in International Relations. Upon receiving her Bachelor’s, she returned to Hungary on a scholarship to study at the Balassi Institute (a school established by the Hungarian Ministry of Education and Culture to promote Hungarian language and culture studies) in Budapest. The purpose of the scholarship was the education of the Hungarian diaspora through intensive Hungarian language instruction alongside classes in various subject areas including the history of Hungary, contemporary Hungarian literature, and Hungarian culture. While still in the incipient stages of her work in critical discourse analysis (CDA), her two proposals were accepted and she will be presenting research and data concerning how discursive mechanisms are used in the positive self-representations of voluntary agencies and the negative representations of refugees assisted through the U.S. refugee resettlement process at two respective conferences in 2013. Her research interests include critical discourse analysis, literacies of displaced peoples, and migration studies.