Positioning Statement and Formative Annotations for Assessment

Positioning Statement 

I am interested in exploring, through this research project, the relationship between the stereotypes surrounding the Romani people and the way Romani New Zealanders identify with their ethnicity. I am using animated narrative techniques and experimentation to explore the most effective ways to express how damaging negative stereotypes of Gypsies are to New Zealand Romani.

I am interested in how Simon Goodman and Lottie Rowe analysed racist comments on social media in their article ‘“Maybe it’s Prejudice … but it’s NOT Racism”: Negotiating Racism in Decisions Forms about Gypsies.’[1] by Discourse Analysis to draw relationships between public opinion and Romani self-identity. Academic papers such as Goodman and Rowe, along with ‘Challenging Anti-gypsyism in Academia’[2] written by Anna Mirga-Kruszelnicka are researching within a framework of significance about my project, and highlight the importance of my contribution.

To fulfil what I see as my role, and responsibility to enrich knowledge and add an authentic Romani voice to academia I am undertaking discourse analysis of references to Romani in scholarship, scrutinising what stereotypes exist so that I can write academic papers with a view to correct the use of language surrounding my ethnicity.

I am exploring these ideas by using Ethnographic methodologies such as interviewing, oral histories, and immersive observation with the Romani Communities living in New Zealand in order to gain a clearer insight of how much effect stereotypes play in their lives. With the conclusions I draw from my research I will be able to compare this with personal accounts such as ‘Old Ways, New Days: A Family History of Gypsy Life in South London and Kent’[3] an autobiographical book by cousins Rosie Smith, and Lindsey Marsh to discover and correlate any similarities and differences.

By comparing case studies with my tacit knowledge I will be able to shape these stereotypes into a narrative for my animation, crafting the best way to share my findings, and the effects these stereotypes generate. Part of what will ensure the relevance of my project is sharing my perspective of being New Zealand Romani in higher education. In a country made up of diverse backgrounds I keenly feel the importance to preserve my own ethnic identity, ensuring that my history and cultural rights that make us a unique people are conserved for those that will come after me.

[1]Simon Goodman and Lottie Rowe, ‘“Maybe It Is Prejudice … but It Is NOT Racism”: Negotiating Racism in Discussion Forums about Gypsies.’, Discourse & Society 25, no. 1 (January 2014): 32.

[2] Anna Mirga-Kruszelnicka, ‘Challenging Anti-Gypsyism in Academia’, Critical Romani Studies 1, no. 1 (13 April 2018): 8–28, https://doi.org/10.29098/crs.v1i1.5.

[3] Rosie Smith and Lindsey Marsh, Old Ways, New Days: A Family History of Gypsy Life in South London and Kent, 1st ed. (London, UNITED KINGDOM: Francis Boutle Publishers, 2009).