Roma Rights 3, 2007: Perceptions

21 November 2007

Stereotypes take on a life of their own once they emerge from Pandora's box. Distorted perceptions are mirrored onto ethnic and racial groups and inflict psychological wounds on individuals that are cast as belonging to those groups. The end result is collective marginalisation or collective oppression. This issue of Roma Rights explores the "perceptions" of Roma which are present in certain fields and societies. Amongst the contributors, Claude Cahn debates the implications of stigma attached to "Gypsyness" within Romani communities with regard to addressing human rights matters in his article, "The Unseen Powers: Perception, Stigma and Roma Rights". Alternatively, in his article "In the Eye of the Beholder: Contemporary Perceptions of Roma in Europe", Larry Olomoofe writes on how Roma are perceived in contemporary European societies. Adrian Marsh's "Research and the Many Representations of Romani Identity" narrates the historiography of Romani studies and how Roma are perceived in the academic field. In a case study presented in his article "The Perception of Gypsies in Turkish Society", Suat Kolukırık pursues a historical and sociological viewpoint of how Roma perceived in Turkey. András Kádár analyses the way legislation reflects Roma and their specific problems through the looking glass of the Hungarian legal system in his article, "Roma and Law: A Semi-Pessimistic Overview". Finally, Henry Scicluna discusses racist rhetoric related to Roma in his article "Anti-Romani Speech in Europe's Public Space: The Mechanism of Hate Speech".

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