Browsing by Subject "Roma"

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  • Helakorpi, Jenni; Lappalainen, Sirpa; Sahlström, Fritjof (2019)
    Although Finnish politics relating to the Roma tend to be perceived internationally as fairly successful, several obstacles exist for the Roma in education and the labour market. Training of Roma mediators has been actively promoted in Finland to improve the school performance and equality of Roma pupils. This article, based on ethnographic research, focuses on exploring how the current discursive terrain around the topics of tolerance and prejudice functions in the everyday work of mediators. It is argued that the present discourses in school expose the mediators to unequal power relations of tolerance. The terms for being tolerated are set by the potential tolerating actors, the school community. The mediators aim to supply knowledge about the Roma and try to address prejudices as representatives of the Roma. The study identified three different strategies that the mediators used when encountering prejudice: making sure one does not seem too different, parody and feigning naivety. The analysis suggests that the present discursive terrain creates obstacles to addressing inequalities, discrimination and racism in educational contexts. The responsibility for tackling discrimination is placed on the shoulders of individual Roma - not the whole school community.
  • Hirvaskoski, Salome (2005)
    The study is aimed at clarifying the developments of political participation of the Romani minorities in European countries since 1989. The main argument in the study is that since the early 1990`s several processes and developments have contributed to an increasingly evident pan-Europeanization of Romani minorities. The study examines the issue from two angles. Firstly, the efforts to bring about a more active Romani participation in issues affecting them are considered, as well as the resulting developments in the political participation of the Romanies and the difficulties encountered in this work. Some consideration is also given to the growing perception of the Romanies as a political factor in their countries of residence, even if the hardships of life and marginalization still experienced by the Romanies would not necessarily suggest that. Secondly, the increasing international interest in the affairs of the Romanies is described. This interest has manifested itself in the agendas of all main European-level legal bodies and in the active foreign and national policies of many European countries. This part of the study also describes the most important steps taken by the international community, the adoption of the Copenhagen criteria in the EU enlargement process indicating the great importance given to the improvement of the situation of Romani minorities in the accession countries and the founding of the European Roma and Travellers Forum being perhaps the most notable of these. The greater part of the space is used in describing developments taking place in the so called transition region. As the majority of Romanies reside in that geographical area, the construction of a trans-national minority has drawn a lot of attention to the phenomena witnessed there. The commitment of many Western European nations - not the least that of Finland - proves, that the issue must logically and necessarily also be seen as a European one, reaching beyond the geographical area of the transition region. The primary sources used in this study consist mainly of official documents of intergovernmental organizations. Other source material is composed of research literature and selection of conference papers and other document produced by a wide range of relevant actors.
  • Helakorpi, Jenni; Lappalainen, Sirpa; Mietola, Reetta (2020)
    The article examines policies intended to promote the basic education of Roma and Traveller minorities in Finland, Sweden, and Norway by analysing key national Roma and Traveller policy (n = 5) and education policy documents (n = 3). Analysis shows how the Finnish, Swedish, and Norwegian Roma policies translate the general policy aims of improving the social positioning of people identifying as Roma consistently into policy measures responding to the special needs of Roma pupils. These policy measures are validated by problem representations regarding Roma parents and families. All the policies also problematise the relationship between Roma and Traveller cultures and schools. It is argued that the focuses of the current policy measures constrain opportunities for a change in terms of equality.