Between Antigypsyism and Human Rights Education: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Representations of the Roma Holocaust in European Textbooks

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Published Oct 25, 2022
Marko Pecak
Riem Spielhaus
Simona Szakács-Behling

Abstract

This paper investigates representations of the Roma Holocaust in European textbooks on history, civics, and geography for pupils in upper primary to the end of secondary education. By applying critical discourse analysis (CDA) to a dataset of 472 passages and images referring to the Roma Holocaust from 869 textbooks, this paper reveals educational discourses of in/exclusion by focusing on narratives and linguistic tools, such as speech acts, level of detail and specificity, perspectives in semantic and grammatical forms, vocabulary and syntax. Most knowledge disseminated on the Roma Holocaust concerns numbers and technicalities of murder while Roma-specific details, survivor stories, and individual voices, as well as Romani terminology for the Holocaust (Porrajmos) are rare. Generally, the textbooks show little commitment to circulating knowledge about the Roma Holocaust, or specifically focusing on civic or human rights education. Portrayals of the Roma Holocaust are permeated by both explicitly and implicitly racist discourses, coupled with a distinct lack of critical tools withwhich to deconstruct these narratives. Overall, current textbook representations of the Roma Holocaust mirror social discourse and possibly serve to reproduce Romani exclusion and risk reinforcing antigypsyism attitudes.

How to Cite

Pecak, M., Spielhaus, R., & Szakács-Behling, S. (2022). Between Antigypsyism and Human Rights Education: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Representations of the Roma Holocaust in European Textbooks. Critical Romani Studies, 4(2), 100–120. https://doi.org/10.29098/crs.v4i2.96
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Keywords

critical discourse analysis, education, textbooks, antigypsyism, Roma, Roma holocaust

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