Representing the 'other': a discursive analysis of prejudice and moral exclusion in talk about Romanies

2013-02-08T14:12:12Z (GMT) by Cristian Tileaga
This article investigates the particulars of prejudiced and moral exclusion discourse about ethnic minorities in a Romanian socio-cultural context. It examines in detail the discourse of middle-class Romanian professionals taking up different ideological positions on the issue of the fairness of extremist politics towards ethnic minorities. A comparison is made between participants ‘supporting’ extremist politics and those ‘opposing’ this kind of politics to see whether there are differences in the way participants from both categories talk about the Romanies. It is suggested that a very similar expression of moral exclusion discourse is to be found across both positions, a very similar use of various discursive and rhetorical strategies to blame the Romanies and ‘naturalize’ their characteristics, position them beyond the moral order, nationhood and difference. The analysis, inspired by a critical discursive approach will focus on the construction of ideological representations of Romanies. In examining prejudiced and moral exclusion discourse against Romanies, this article constitutes an attempt to understand the situated dynamics of prejudice and some of the ways in which particular ways of talking delegitimize and, sometimes, dehumanize the ‘other’.