07 SES 03 B, Roma: Research Methodologies
We base our theoretical approach on the following theoretical works. The first is the schema theory of Claudie Strauss and Naomi Quinn (2003). Basically, schemata – or “cultural models” are shared and internalized/embodied metaphors that are common in a certain population or social network. Schema is not a representation, mental image or concept in dictionary sense. It is a cognitive structure/process through which individuals interpret their experience of the world. We believe that schemata have motivational force and individuals both create them out of their experience and succumb to them.
For analysing data and creating categories we use the Lakoff’s theory of idealised cognitive models. By applying this theory, we discovered logic of help generators (LHGs), super schemata that influence the approach and relationships between the helpers and their clients. LHGs help us detecting certain patterns and logic behind the behaviour and self-presentation of the researched individuals. (Lakoff 1990)
In our final interpretation and presentation of results we use Geertz’s “thick description”, which focuses on searching for meanings in the conduct of the researched individuals. (Geertz 1988). We were also inspired by Freud’s psychoanalysis and his explanation of the origins of phobia. Freud (Freud 1991) essentially argues that anxiety is the result of regression to infantile phobia, when libido remained unsatisfied – displacement. “Unemployed libido is constantly being converted into real fear and so a tiny external danger takes the place of the demands of the libido.” (Freud 1991, p. 289) The same condition occurs in the child, who “cannot distinguish the conscious from the unconscious... The regression to infantile phobia is the bridge where the transformation of libido into fear is conveniently effected.” (Freud, 1991, p. 289).
In our paper we want to discuss the unintended consequences of some of the Roma minority “integration” activities in the Czech Republic, which we had the opportunity to observe during our ethnographic research. Instead of supporting integration, these activities effectively created both real and symbolic barriers. The governmental Agency for Social Inclusion – the main institution that deals with the integration of the Roma minority – initiated the establishment of “social centres” in the two towns, where we have been conducting long-term research. These social centres were intended to provide premises for extracurricular activities for children as well as premises for social work. However, both centres, were rejected by overwhelming majority in local referendums initiated by citizens. After these referendums, local communities become more divided than ever before. Paradoxically, the Roma themselves often voted against these plans. After the referendums, things that the local Roma had not experienced before appeared, which frightened them. For instance, according to the words of one of our informants, the local members of the majority refused to serve Roma in shops (where they used to shop without problems before) etc. We tried to investigate what are the origins of such resistance, what this resistance means. What do these events show? Are they acts of racism or do they have even more important levels of meaning? What mistakes were made and what learnings can be taken from these events, in order to ensure that similar integration projects do not fail in the future? We identified two types of mistakes.
References BITTNEROVÁ, Dana, David DOUBEK a Markéta LEVÍNSKÁ. Funkce kulturních modelů ve vzdělávání. [Function of Cultural models in Education] Vyd. 1. V Praze: Fakulta humanitních studií Univerzity Karlovy, 2011, 308 s. ISBN 978-808-7398-180. FREUD, Sigmund. Přednášky k úvodu do psychoanalýzy: Nová řada přednášek k úvodu do psychoanalýzy. [Gesammelte Werke, XI., Vorlesungen zur Einführung in die Psychoanalyse, XV., Neu Folge der Vorlesungen zur Einführung in die Psychoanalyse] Vyd. 2., (v Avicenu). Překlad Jiří Pechar, Eugen Wiškovský. Praha: Avicenum, 1991, 464 s. ISBN 80-201-0182-9. GEERTZ, Clifford. Works and lives: the anthropology as author. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988, vi, 157 s. ISBN 08-047-1747-8. HOLLAND, Dorothy C. a Naomi QUINN. Cultural models in language and thought. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987/1995, xii, 400 p. ISBN 05-213-1168-3. LAKOFF, George. Women, fire, and dangerous things: what categories reveal about the mind. Pbk. ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990, xvii, 614 s. ISBN 02-264-6804-6.
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