A discursive analysis of prejudice and moral exclusion : Romanian talk of nationhood, difference and 'others'
This thesis investigates the particulars of prejudiced discourse regarding the two main ethnic minorities in the Romanian socio-cultural context, the Hungarian and the Romany minority. The thesis aims at comparing and contrasting the way Romanians talk about the Hungarians with the way they talk about the Romanies on a series of interviews on controversial social and political issues surrounding ethnic minorities. It examines in detail the discourse of middle-class Romanian professionals taking up different ideological subject positions on the issue of the avowed support for the extremist policies of the representatives of the Romanian right-wing towards ethnic minorities A comparison is made between participants 'supporting', 'ambivalent' and those 'opposing' this kind of policies to see whether there are differences in the way participants use prejudiced discourse across the ideological spectrum in talk about the Hungarians, on one hand and the Romanies, on the other. The analytic discussion ranges from investigating the dynamics links between nationalism, politics and prejudice within a various set of discourses and discursive resources of 'nationhood' and 'difference' in the case of the Hungarian minority to the investigation of a shift to discourses of 'nature' and 'moral exclusion' in as far as the Romanies are concerned. The analysis, inspired by a critical discursive approach examines the construction of stereotypical ideological representations of both minority groups together with a concern for the located construction of otherness. The analysis suggests that talk about Romanies is more extreme than talk about the Hungarians, more extreme than the anti-alien, anti-immigrant prejudiced talk studied by numerous Western (critical) researchers. It is more extreme because Romanies are not merely portrayed as being 'different', but also as being beyond the moral order, beyond nationhood, difference and comparison. Talk about Romanies employs a style, which, at the same time, denies, but also protects extreme prejudice. The thesis concludes by raising some Implications of this kind of analysis and approach for the discursive social psychological study of different kinds of prejudice. Questions for future analysis relate to a different conceptualisation of stereotypes and stereotyping, the study of political ideologies and the details of extreme prejudiced talk.