Publications of Zsuzsanna Vidra

Child Trafficking in Hungary: Sexual Exploitation, Forced Begging and Pickpocketing / Gyermekkereskedelem Magyarországon: Szexuális kizsákmányolás, koldultatás és zsebtolvajlásra kényszerítés

This study explores the mechanisms of three forms of child trafficking in Hungary – begging, pickpocketing and sexual exploitation of children – by focusing on Roma victims. It presents available statistical data on human trafficking and sheds light on some of the major difficulties of data collection regarding human trafficking and child trafficking in particular. It gives an overview of the anti-human trafficking and anti-child trafficking policy frameworks, and it tries to reveal what factors lead to victimisation and how recruitment and exploitation of children actually take place. The study then looks into how the identification of victims, the referral mechanism, and the victim assistance systems all work. Finally, it identifies shortcomings in the criminal processes and the judicial system that undermine effective countering of child trafficking. A tanulmány a gyermekkereskedelem három formáját vizsgálja Magyarországon: a koldultatást, a zsebtolvajlásra kényszerítést és a gyermekek szexuális kizsákmányolását, roma áldozatokat helyezve a középpontba. Bemutatja az emberkereskedelemmel és a gyermekkereskedelemmel kapcsolatos adatgyűjtés fő kihívásait, az emberkereskedelem elleni fellépésre vonatkozó szakpolitikákat, és a gyermekvédelmi rendszer megelőzésben, áldozatvédelemben és áldozatellátásban tapasztalható fő hiányosságait. Feltárja azokat a társadalmi, gazdasági, intézményi és családi tényezőket, amelyek növelik a gyermekek áldozattá válásának kockázatát. A tanulmány bemutatja a gyermekvédelmi rendszer, a rendőrség és a megelőzésben, illetve az áldozatok azonosításában és ellátásában érintett egyéb intézmények szerepét. Vizsgálja továbbá, hogy ezek az intézmények mennyire hatékonyak, milyen problémák és hiányosságok jellemzik működésüket, valamint ezen felül elemezi a gyermekkereskedelemmel kapcsolatos büntetőeljárásban felmerülő problémákat is.

Facing the Far-Right. Ethnographic portrayals of local civil resistance

Interethnic relations of Roma and non-Roma in Hungary are marked by a long history of local (ethnic) conflicts since the regime change of 1989. Conflicts persist to this day, although they are changing in nature. From the mid-2000s, Hungary has seen a political crisis leading to the rise of the extreme right, accompanied by a ‘racial turn’ in mainstream discourses and in certain policy areas. Political changes, in turn, have also shaped the nature of local ethnic conflicts. The usual scenario is that the far right, through its unofficial paramilitary organizations, has been organizing hate marches in local communities with ethnically mixed populations to mobilize locals and instigate hatred against the Roma in order to win the political support of the majority. With the two anthropological case studies presented in this volume we hope to offer some insight into this issue through the analysis and portrayal of some ‘best practices’ of Roma self-mobilization and local civil resistance to the far-right. In addition, we explore how local communities where the far-right had organized demonstrations and hate marches have been subverted, how social ties were torn and, in general, what social, moral and symbolic damages have been done within the communities following these events.

Roma Migration to and from Canada: The Czech, Hungarian and Slovak Case

Most research initiatives on Roma migration focus on Roma migrating from non-EU to EU or EU-to-EU countries. This research aimed to look at another sub-component of the migration process: transatlantic, Canadian migration from the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. The migration and asylum seeking of Central Eastern European Roma to Canada started in the 1990s when several thousands of Roma moved to Canada. The collection of papers presented here looks at various aspects of Roma migration to and from Canada. Our premise was that 'Canadian Roma migration' should be understood as a process motivated by a mixed set of factors and, from an analytical point of view, it should be studied as neither refugee nor labor migration but as a compound of both. The first two studies in the volume investigate the legal and the political components to the push and pull of Roma migration, while the rest of the papers are based on qualitative, empirical studies that were conducted in three CEE countries – the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia – as well as in Canada. The country case studies were designed to consider Roma migration from a micro perspective using the same methodology and the same conceptual framework. Researchers in the three countries did fieldwork in villages and towns in which there had been a significant out-migration of Roma, presently or in the past. The factors impelling migration were social, political as well as economic: deteriorating interethnic relations, the rise and spread of violence as well as political racism and fear from racist attacks, deprivation and worsening of living conditions for the poorest, and stigmatized ethnicity, the consequences of which Roma have to face on a daily bases (employment and educational discrimination, verbal and physical racial violence.). As a general pattern, we could distinguish the pioneers from the laggards in the migration process. In all three cases, pioneers were migrants who were from wealthier families and many had earlier migration experiences; they were the ones who would leave, come back, and some would try to leave again. The latter – the laggards – were often the failed migrants, those whose return left them in a more desperate situation than they had been in before leaving.

Vidra Z. Kistérségi közoktatás-szervezés a Nagykállói kistérségben (Public Education in the micro-region of Nagykálló, Hungary). In: Kovács K, Balázs É, editors. Többcélú küzdelem. Helyzetképek a kistérségi közoktatásról. Budapest: Oktatáskutató és Fejlesztő Intézet; 2012. p. 275-306.
Vidra Z, Fox J, Horváth A. Tolerance and cultural diversity discourses in Hungary. In: Zapata-Barrero R, Triandafyllidou A, editors. Addressing tolerance and diversity discourse in Europe Comparative Overview of 16 European Countries. Barcelona : CIDOB. Barcelona Centre for International Affairs; 2012. p. 317-43.
Vidra Z, Feischmidt M. Az oktatási integráció társadalmi lenyomatai (The social impacts of the policy of educational integration). In: Bárdi N, Tóth Á, editors. Asszimiláció, integráció, szegregáció: párhuzamos értelmezések és modellek a kisebbségkutatásban. Budapest: Argumentum Kiadó és Nyomda Kft. ; 2011. p. 57-96.
Vidra Z, Kovács A, Horváth A. Identities and Modernities in Europe (IME). Kingston University London, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences ; 2011.

Tolerance and Cultural Diversity Discourses in Hungary

The paper presents an overview of questions related to the most pressing issues of (in)tolerance in today’s Hungary by focusing on the development of the concept of the nation as well as the history of minority groups and their political, social and cultural accommodation in the country. Social scientific research shows that the Roma are the primary target of the most intense prejudice and racism in Hungary. Anti-Roma prejudices can and also should be understood more generally as a ‘cultural code’ shared to varying degrees in all political discourse and indeed more generally at a societal level as well, regardless of ideological orientation. Immigrants in Hungary, although very small in number, are also typically viewed with a combination of fear and distrust. Hungarians from the neighbouring countries constitute an important part of the national ‘self’, however, they have been pictured, somewhat ironically, a national ‘other’. Other immigrant groups in contrast have been less visible simply due to their small numbers. But when these groups do appear in the media, they too are often presented as either threatening (e.g. the Chinese mafia) or at the very least exotic. Other minorities in Hungary are not viewed as a challenge to the hegemony of the Hungarian nation. In contrast, anti-Semitism has been (and continues to be) an essential and formative element of Hungarian national self-understandings, with ‘the Jew’ having fill the role of ‘internal other’ for centuries. The paper also accounts for the recent resurgence in Hungarian nationalism on discourses and practices of tolerance and explains how the question of Hungary’s internal minorities (and the Roma in particular) has taken a backseat to the question of the transborder Hungarians. For years, Hungary’s policies toward its minorities were driven, at least in part, by concern for (and a preoccupation with) the transborder Hungarians. In addition the policies devised for Hungary’s minorities and the Roma in particular did not always correspond to the needs or demands of these minorities. Legislative changes in education, the welfare system, and economic structures have often had the effect of further marginalizing the Roma. This continued socio-economic marginalization of the Roma has been further exacerbated by racialized understandings of difference (particularly evident vis-à-vis the Roma) that preclude possibilities for socio-cultural integration and/or accommodation. The paper concludes that the major tolerance issues in Hungary today are overwhelmingly related to the situation of the Roma.

Vidra Z. “The Unhidden Jew”. Jewish Narratives in Romany Life-Stories. In: Stewart M, Rövid M, editors. Multi-disciplinary Approaches to Romany Studies. Budapest: CEU Press; 2010. p. 196-208.
Vidra Z. Die EU-Darstellung in der ungarischen Presse wahrend des Erweiterungsprozesses (1996-2004). In: Baasner F, editor. Von welchem Europa reden wir? Reichweiten nationaler Europadiskurse . Baden-Baden: Nomos ; 2008. p. 133-54.
Vidra Z. Az EU reprezentációja a magyar médiában a csatlakozási folyamat alatt. In: Hegedűs I, editor. A magyarok bemenetele. Tagállamként a bővülő Európai Unióban. Budapest : Demokrácia Kutatások Magyar Központja Közhasznú Alapítvány, Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem Politikatudományi Intézet; 2006. p. 115-54.
Vidra Z. Cigányság a magyar sajtóban, 1945-2000. In: Péter TPál, editor. Bevándorlás Magyarországra. Budapest: Kisebbségkutatás Könyvek; 2006. p. 249-87.
Vidra Z. Public Discourse analysis in a Hungarian town, 1990-2001: Roma - Non Roma relationships. In: Ruegg F, Poledna R, Rus C, editors. Interculturalism and Discrimination in Romania. Policies, Practices, Identities and Representations. Berlin : LIT Verlag; 2006. p. 173-84.
Vidra Z. Bevándorló gyerekek a francia iskolarendszerben. In: Feischmidt M, Nyíri Pál, editors. Nem kívánt gyermekek? Külföldi gyerekek magyar iskolákban . Budapest : MTA KI ; 2006. p. 211-20.

Kína és a kinaiak a magyar sajtóban, 1945-2000

The image of China and the Chinese people in the Hungarian press, 1945–2000 How is China represented in the Hungarian press before and after 1989? How are the Chinese people depicted in the same periods? Newspaper articles will be analyzed by using qualitative methodology focusing on the major discourses that characterize each period. The most important findings are that before 1989 China is represented either as a friend or an enemy depending on the current political situation of the time – mainly its relationship to the Soviet Union. The Chinese people do not appear almost ever in any article. Besides China being a political friend or enemy, sometimes tribute is paid to the country in reports written by ambassadors or some political delegation members visiting the country. They all admire the exoticism of the place. The political changes of 1989 generate a completely new image. It is not the country any more that is represented but the people who come to live and work in the new Hungary. Two opposing images develop over the time: the loveable but naïve Chinese stranger and the menacing criminal stranger. The latter embodies all the fear that we feel as a result of the opening of the borders. Now we are exposed to the world, to the sometimes fearful effects of globalization. These strangers appear even scarier to us since in their media representation they are most of the time de-contextualized, the reader is not given any information or explanation as to their origin, the reasons why they have come, etc. The wider context of the Chinese economic and political transformation is not accounted for nor is globalzation.

Vidra Z. Public Discourses on the Roma Holocaust: A Case Study from Hungary. In: Gawronska-Nowak B, Grochowalska J, Jura J, Walerysiak G, editors. Open Minds. Europe in Global World - blending differences. Lodz: CASE - Center for Social and Economic Research, Institute of Economics, University of Lodz, Department of City and Regional Management, Faculty of Management, University of Lodz; 2003.