The plight of the Romanian Roma: Investigating linguistic human rights in national legislation, institutional practices, and local attitudes

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dc.contributor.advisor May, Stephen
dc.contributor.advisor Barkhuizen, Gary Tarau, Maria-Ana 2023-01-25T02:05:19Z 2023-01-25T02:05:19Z 2022 en
dc.description.abstract Indigenous and minority communities around the world are becoming increasingly successful in reclaiming their identities as a consequence of being granted linguistic human rights, meaning access to both mother tongue and an official language in their daily lives (Grin, 2005; Kontra, Phillipson & Skutnabb-Kangas, 1999). In the shadow of these developments lie the Roma, an ethnic group whose plight seems little changed since they arrived in Europe in the 13th century, living since then in either nomadic, forcibly settled, or voluntarily assimilated communities. Their troubled history has resulted in a plethora of legal and social issues due to which their status remains problematic across Europe today, and in Romania in particular. European Union membership since 2007 has brought increased pressure on Romania to facilitate Roma “inclusion into mainstream society”, yet most social action-based initiatives to achieve this goal seem to have failed to date. As an alternative course of action, then, could the Roma’s language, Romani, be instrumental in strengthening their Romanian community? Using narrative inquiry as the methodological and epistemological framework for this study situated in western Romania, I aimed to investigate the extent to which the linguistic human rights of the Roma are acknowledged and granted in Romania in national policy and through local institutional practices, and the ways in which Roma and non-Roma citizens are experiencing the impact of these policies in their daily lives. My data came from national legislation, namely the Romanian Constitution and policies aimed specifically at the Roma in Romania; interviews with Romanian and Roma local government representatives; and life stories from both Roma and Romanian citizens. My analysis revealed that national legislation does grant the Roma their right to live their lives in their own language, and that Romanian governing bodies appear to enact these policies as per European Union requirements. However, the use of language for strategic ambiguity in national policy, mirrored in the fact that institutions implement local policy designed for the Roma only on demand from the Roma community itself, a community which is often disenfranchised and disconnected from national and local government, ultimately equates to the continued disenfranchisement of the Roma in Romania.
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA en
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dc.title The plight of the Romanian Roma: Investigating linguistic human rights in national legislation, institutional practices, and local attitudes
dc.type Thesis en Education The University of Auckland en Doctoral en PhD en 2022-12-08T23:45:40Z
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
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