Hate speech against the roma in Romania : discourse analysis on three Romanian newspapers’ Internet forums

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Title: Hate speech against the roma in Romania : discourse analysis on three Romanian newspapers’ Internet forums
Author: Peltonen, Lari
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Studies
Date: 2010-06-21
Language: en
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/17139
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Sociology
Social and Cultural Anthropology
Sosiaali- ja kulttuuriantropologia
Social- och kulturantropologi
Abstract: The topic of this study is hate speech against the Roma in Romania, which was studied with the comments posted to three Romanian newspapers’ (Jurnalul Naţional, Evenimentul zilei and Adevărul) Internet forums. This study examines how the history, current situation and demographic factors of the Romanian Roma are discussed in the comments on the Internet forums and what kind of solutions the commentators suggest for the Roma situation that many considered problematic. As the conceptual frame of reference in this study is hate speech that has been elaborated within international and American law, the study focuses on the comments that aim at strengthening the negative stereotypes and inciting violence, characteristics of hate speech. Relating to the subject, the study also touches on the dispute over curbing freedom of speech and defining the limits for forbidden speech. The messages used in the study are from the first half of the year 2009. The method used for collecting the data was Internet-ethnography, a method that applies traditional ethnographic observation to the Internet environment. For analyzing the messages, critical discourse analysis taught by Norman Fairclough was used. The emphasis was laid on the qualities that the commentators gave to the Roma. Two primary ”solutions” to the ”Gypsy problem” in Romania came up from the analysis. According to the comments belonging to the first group, the commentators wanted to change the official Romanian designation of the Roma from ‘rom’ (‘Roma’) to ‘ţigan’ (the Romanian equivalent to ‘Gypsy’) so that the Romanians would not be confused with the Roma that many commentators considered highly insulting and problematic for Romanians. The comments of the other group are more characteristic hate speech: in many comments mass destruction of the Roma or forced deportation to India were proposed, from where the Roma started their travels toward Europe some thousand years ago. The comments contained clear references to the mass destructions of the Jews, Roma, homosexuals and political dissidents during the Nazi regime in Germany and the comments in this category, were especially vulgar. Furthermore, according to the “dirtiness – purity” category of Mary Douglas, the Roma were perceived as an obstacle to the fulfilment of the “clean” Romania.
Description: Endast sammandrag. Inbundna avhandlingar kan sökas i Helka-databasen (http://www.helsinki.fi/helka). Elektroniska kopior av avhandlingar finns antingen öppet på nätet eller endast tillgängliga i bibliotekets avhandlingsterminaler.Only abstract. Paper copies of master’s theses are listed in the Helka database (http://www.helsinki.fi/helka). Electronic copies of master’s theses are either available as open access or only on thesis terminals in the Helsinki University Library.Vain tiivistelmä. Sidottujen gradujen saatavuuden voit tarkistaa Helka-tietokannasta (http://www.helsinki.fi/helka). Digitaaliset gradut voivat olla luettavissa avoimesti verkossa tai rajoitetusti kirjaston opinnäytekioskeilla.
Subject: Internet
Roma people
hate speech
discourse analysis

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