Blog 3: Gypsy Clips

Popular culture is a reflection of the culture that created it, and it also communicates something to the culture that consumes it. This is what makes pop culture so fascinating to analyze. It’s also why representations of minorities and other underrepresented groups are so important. 

For this week, you need to go youtube crawling. Post a short clip of a TV show, film, commercial, or documentary that in some way misrepresents Romanies or Romani culture, and in 300 words, critique the clip. Is it sexualizing? Mythologizing? Dehumanizing? Why? Consider visual rhetoric in your analysis too–visual arguments are just as important. How is the clip edited? Are there important sound effects, close-ups, cuts, montages, etc., and how do those elements affect the representation of Romanies? And lastly, consider the context and audience. Is it supposed to be an educational clip? A kid’s movie? How does that influence your analysis?

You might find a clip that you feel challenges Romani stereotypes and depicts Romanies/Romani culture more accurately. Feel free to write an analysis of how that clip represents Romani people. You’ll still need to use specific examples, context, visual rhetoric, etc to make your argument.

You might find a clip that does a bit of both, so your analysis should address the problematic aspects and the positive aspects. 

Regardless of the kind of clip you pick, at the end of the analysis, tell me what you think the effect is. What is the message the clip conveys? What do you think the consequences could be?


Extra-Credit Blog: Stereotypes I defy

Extra-Credit Blog: Stereotypes I defy

Since this week we are doing individual conferences on your 2nd drafts instead of classes, there is no assigned blog post. However, the optional extra-credit blog for this week is 300 words on stereotypes that you defy. You can address ethnicity, class, nationality, geography (southerner or northerner?), gender, heritage, religion… whatever you you feel comfortable writing about. Tell this defiance as a story– when did you feel stereotyped? How did you react?

This is an exercise in story-telling, yes, but it’s also a meditation on how you define yourself as an individual.

Post due Friday 1/25 at 12 noon.

Blog 2, The Sexy Gypsy

Blog 2, The Sexy Gypsy

The Sexy Gypsy (male and female) has been a trope and a stereotype for centuries. Historically this sexualization and objectification was used as a way to dehumanize and further oppress the Romani people through sexual slavery and/or forced castration or sterilization. In contemporary popular culture, the trope persists– a sexualized and exoticized image of the Romani people is often appropriated and to sell products, titillate, or conjure images of the exotic, mysterious or forbidden. This week, find an example of “The Sexy Gypsy” and explain what’s going on. Scholars like Hancock argue that when an ethnic group is mythologized or exoticized, it makes it easier to forget that they are real people, and makes their struggles as an oppressed group invisible. Indeed, many other minorities with a history of oppression are similarly exoticized and sexualized.

In 300 words, describe what you see in the example you chose, and explain what you think it suggests, represents, or shows. Some places to look are TV shows, fashion magazines, romance novels, costume shops, and films, but there are lots more. Provide a link to your example so the people who read and comment on your post can see what you are referencing.

Remember that you are making an argument– stick to reasoning and use examples from your source to support your point. Make at least one (5 sentence +) comment on another person’s blog post.

Call for Lindsay Lohan to apologize for racist Gypsy remarks

Call for Lindsay Lohan to apologize for racist Gypsy remarks

An article in the Eurasia Review about Lindsay Lohan calling a fortune-teller “a fucking Gypsy” and then punching her in the face.

What do you think about the two ways the altercation is reported on?


Romanies face apartheid in Spain

Rajan Zed is a Nevada statesman and activist dedicated to involving the Hindu community in the struggle for equal rights for Romanies. Because of the Romanies Indian origin dating back to the 10th century, Zed feels that the two groups should support each other. His article reads:

Hindus condemn demolition of Gypsy settlement in Spain


Hindus have condemned the reported recent demolishing of Gypsy (Roma) settlement of Puerta de Hierro on the banks of the Manzanares River on Madrid outskirts in Spain.


Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was unfortunate and simply inhuman to thus devastate the lives of voiceless Gypsy families forcing many into homelessness, some of whom called it a home reportedly for over five decades.


Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, asked for provision of immediate compensation to thus affected Gypsy families and alternative accommodation for them.


Instead of unleashing repression, Spain and Europe needed to work on social inclusion and rehabilitation of Roma communities, which were residents of Europe since about ninth century CE and now numbered around 15 million, Rajan Zed argued.


What was more baffling that even religious elite of Spain had not come out openly against this unjust crackdown on poor gypsies while the religions clearly told us to help the helpless, Zed noted.


Europe’s most persecuted and discriminated community, Roma were reportedly facing apartheid conditions in Europe. Roma reportedly regularly encountered social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, etc., Rajan Zed pointed out.