Undercommunicated Stories in Boundary Building Processes
Keywords:de-ethnicization, stereotyping, Czech Republic, narratives, Romani, communication
This text focuses on the narrations of Romani in the Czech Republic with regard to conversational topics which are usually not communicated in either conversations across group borders or in the media. The topics covered in these conversations range from everyday life issues and stories about success in employment to stories about experiences during powerful moments in the state’s history that resonate for all its inhabitants. The narratives analysed in this text include the experience of the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and the adventures of a group of boys who tried to illegally cross the state border during socialism. The interviews were filmed with a camera. From a methodological perspective, an interesting feature throughout the project was that during the conversations the narrators did not stress their Romani identity. The dominant tone was rather that of plain interpersonal communication. Thus, these narratives can be characterised as acts of everyday communication – a mode of interaction which is not common in the communication of Roma with non-Roma – which emphasize the shared overall context in which all inhabitants of the Czech Republic find themselves.
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