Glossary

Anti-Gypsyism / Antiziganism

Discrimination and prejeduce against people belonging to Roma and/or Traveller communities. Anti-gypsyism enables all those from Roma and related backgrounds to be put under a single definition, without acknowledging the different cultural groups and communities within. This activity includes, but is not limited to, school segregation, forced sedentarisation, hate speech, and hate crimes. Anti-gypsyism is not only something an individual can perpretate through words and actions, but it is deeply rooted in societal structures and biases. 

The term anti-gypsyism has been used in academia since the 1970s, and was first used officially by the European Parliament in 2005. The term and its usage signify that people of the Roma minority face a specific type of racism that no other minority group faces.

Antiracism

Encompasses a range of beliefs and political actions which are meant to counter racial prejudice, systemic racism, and the oppression of specific racial groups. Antiracism is structured around conscious efforts and deliberate actions which are intended to provide equal opportunities for all people on both an individual and a systemic level. As a philosophy, it can be engaged in by the acknowledgment of personal privileges, confronting acts as well as systems of racial discrimination, and/or working to change personal racial biases.

Anti-Semitism & Holocaust Denial

Acts, behaviour and expressions towards those of Jewish origins that are discriminative, fearful, hateful, suspicious and/or include unfair treatment. Holocaust denial (a conspiracy theory that the Holocaust is a myth), is recognised as a form of anti-semitism.

Apartheid

Introduced in 1948, and supported in South Africa by the National Party (NP) government, apartheid was an ideology based on the separation of people based on their race. The separation was a system of institutionalised racial segregation implemented through laws, so that people’s rights and opportunities were different depending on the colour of their skin. For example, people from different racial groups lived in different areas, used different services, and did not interact with each other upon fear of prosecution. 

Apharteid was a system based on White Supremacy (see definition below), with the term ”non-white” used to characterize all those that did not share the same skintone as those in power. The underlying reasoning for apartheid was that in South-Africa, white people were the minority, and this system would make sure that their rights are taken care of. However, this reasoning implemented the exact opposite, fueled by clear and straight-forward racism and a need for superiority and power over others. 

While apartheid has officially ended in the beginning of the 90s, its legacy still lives on in South Africa through instititutional racism, segregated living spaces, discrimination and unequal social structures. 

Authoritarianism

A form of government characterised by the rejection of political plurality, the use of a strong central power to preserve the political status quo, and reductions in the rule of law, separation of powers, and democratic voting. Political scientists have created many typologies describing variations of authoritarian forms of government. Authoritarian regimes may be either autocratic or oligarchic in nature and may be based upon the rule of a party or the military.

Minimally defined, an authoritarian government lacks free and competitive direct elections to legislatures, free and competitive direct or indirect elections for executives, or both. Broadly defined, authoritarian states include countries that lack the civil liberties such as freedom of religion, or countries in which the government and the opposition do not alternate in power at least once following free elections.

Chattel Slavery

The enslaved person is legally rendered the personal property (chattel) of the slave owner. This person is owned forever and their children and children’s children are automatically enslaved. Chattel slaves are individuals treated as complete property, to be bought and sold. Chattel slavery was supported and made legal by European governments and monarchs.

Collective Memory

A form of memory that transcends the individual and is shared by a group. It is not static, rather a process of contesting various accounts of the past. Sites of contestation include family discussions, museums, monuments and memorials, history textbooks and national holidays.

Colonialism

Conceptualisations of colonialism are fraught with debate, too narrow a definition and communities who have experience injustice which they characterise as colonial are excluded, too broad and any form of unequal power relationship is included. Three main characteristics of colonialism are: domination, cultural imposition and exploitation by conquest. Colonialism has been justified on grounds of racial superiority of the colonizer and inferiority of the colonized, often with aims to ‘civilise’.

Commemorative Landscape

Refers to sites of memory, for example, family discussions, museums, monuments and memorials, history textbooks and national holidays.

Commissioned 

The act of granting certain powers or the authority to carry out a particular task or duty.

Communism

Established in the second half of the 19th century by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, communism is an ideology that has a social, political, philosophical and economic dimension. It has been apparent in numerous countries all around the world, for example in the former Soviet Union, Cuba and Vietnam. Communism is based on the notion that everything produced by and for the people of a government, is owned by the government that has extreme power over its people. By establishing a common ownership, individuals receive a standard compensation for their contribution, but they do not own anything they utilise, or produce, themselves. Thus, individual wealth or social classification do not play a role in a communist society. 

Six unifying themes are considered to be part of global political communism: the monopoly of power of the ruling Communist party; democratic centralism; state ownership of the means of production; centrally planned rather than market economy; membership of an international Communist movement; and the aspiration, in principle, to move eventually to a stateless, classless communist society.

Of note: A term denoted by western superpowers, namely the United States, to refer to the influence of Soviet rule. Extreme terms such as communism can be used by politicians to tarnish their opposition.

Conflict Resolution 

When two or more parties are dealing with a conflict between them, a conflict resolution is a crucial method or manner to resolve the conflict, for example making a compromise.

Contested Histories

Histories for which there is disagreement or conflict over the interpretations of details, events or narratives.

Cultural Appreciation

The sincere act of learning about a specific cultural group, in order to understand, support and honour their traditions and activities. 

Cultural Appropriation

The use of cultural elements of a historically marginalised group (motifs, myths, clothing styles, music) by individuals external to the group with relative privilege and power and without acknowledging the background of these elements or consent, and often for profit. The power dynamic between the appropriator and the cultural group is unequal.

Cultural Heritage

A process that uses the past as a resource to construct meaning in the present. A recent shift in focus has taken place away from heritage as ‘protected property’ to heritage as a process of interpretation.

Cross-Sectoral Cooperation

Involvement of experts or stakeholders from different sectors of society in decision-making processes.

Eurocentrism

Viewing the world, its structures, processes and development from a European perspective, and comparing everything from the outside to the European perspective, it being the standard. 

Fascism

A form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy, which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. Opposed to liberalism, democracy, Marxism, and anarchism, fascism is placed on the far right within the traditional left–right spectrum.

A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.

Of note: Extreme terms such as facism can be used by politicians to tarnish their opposition. This is because the word is distinctly vague and hard to define and yet simultaneously abominable. 

Feminism

Feminism is an intersiciplinary term for societal movement, approaches and theories, in which the aim is to tackle deeply rooted societal structures, that discriminate against those that are not cisgender white men. Within feminism, there are multiple different waves that do not represent the same views and ways of action, which makes feminism as a single movement difficult to construct. 

With social and political movements dating back to the 1800s, the concept of feminism was originally focused on the unequal societal and social structures between man and woman. It has since broadened into a larger view of intersectionality, going beyond the categories of man and woman, to also race, gender, sex, and sexuality.

Feminism can be performed and explained through feminist theory, political engagement, activism and other types of performance. Topics often focused upon in feminism, but not limited to, include parental rights, contraceptive rights, sexual expression, gendered labour market trends, appearance stereotypes, discrimination and social justice. 

Genocide

As stated in the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) Article II, Genocide is any of the following acts; With intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such;

  1. Killing members of the group;
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. 

Of note: genocide is a legally binding term, and it cannot be used for all instances of mass-murder. Its definition is criticized for being both too narrow and to confusing, leading to different stances whether or not historical event can be considered as acts of genocide, or mass-murder (or other). 

Historical Consciousness

The act of being conscious about how the past, present and future connect together, and not just dismissing history as something of the past that no longer plays a role in current society. 

Historical Culture

A concept that emphasizes all human action in relation to its past. Here the focus is not just on historical literature, but on all social historical consciousness, and how different societal events in the past have shaped culture throughout until this day. 

Historical Justice

The process of taking action to redress past injustices, often decades after the fact, for instance through material, symbolic, memorialisations or prosecutions. For example, monetary repair or restitutions, truth commissions, apologies or other state actions. 

Historical Knowledge

Knowledge of the past, that is a central part of society. Historical knowledge can be found in sources, such as literature, art, music, and may be either primary or secondary sources. 

Historical Memory

The ways in which groups, collectives, and nations construct and identify with particular narratives about historical periods or events. Historical memory is not fixed, and is often reshaped to fit current historical-political contexts. Also expressed as ‘collective memory’ and ‘social memory’. 

Holocaust

The Holocaust is the most extreme implementation of anti-semitism in history. The mass-murder of European Jews, Roma, Homosexuals and other minority groups, by the armed forces of Nazi Germany. During the Holocaust (1933-1945), more than ten million people were killed, although the exact number has not been confirmed. 

The word “Holocaust”, comes from Greek, and translates to ‘burnt offering’. 

Implementation

The physical act of doing something that has been agreed upon or decided.  

Inclusion

The means taken so that everyone has an equal opportunity to participate in something. When there is inclusion, no one is left on the outside. This can be physical, such as accessing a building with a physical disability, or nonphysical, such as  providing locals with a platform to express their thoughts about plans for a project. 

Indigenous

There is no single definition for the term “Indigenous”, as it is more explanatory through characteristics. Indigenous people have their own traditions, cultural history, beliefs, language and norms. Often, Indigenous groups use the surrounding nature and other environments in a different way than the dominant group, and may have their separate societal and political structures. Indigenous people practice traditions more strictly than dominant populations, and their lifestyle’s can be very different from dominant culture as well. 

Indigenous groups have long, pre-colonial histories in the places they live in. Indigenous people are discriminated against, and their rights and actions are often restricted in some ways. Consequently, some Indigenous people choose not to disclose their backgrounds to the public.

Intersectionality

Coined by Dr. Kimberlee Krenshaw, intersectionality refers to we benefit from or are harmed by systems of oppression based on overlapping identities, such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion etc.

Islamophobia

Acts, behaviour, policies, comments and expressions, that are of a prejudicial, hateful and/or fearful tone towards Muslims and Islam. Islamophobia is targeted racism based on biases and can be violent in nature. Islamophobes often connect the action of individual Islamist radicals to the broader Islamic faith, not recognizing the vast political, cultural, and ethnic diversity within the religion. 

Islamophobia can be conducted by individuals, but it is also institutionalised discrimination and oppression. This can, for example, occur in discriminative employment policies.

Of note: While acts of Islamophobia are by definition targeted to Muslims and those of Muslim faith, others also suffer from it due to their outer appearance, cultural practices, and any other attributes that might be associated with Muslims and Islam.  

LGBTQI+

The term includes people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and those who are questioning. However, the term is often used more broadly to cater to all  individuals whose gender identity or sexual orientation does not conform with cisgender heteronormativity.  

Memory Laws

A form of legal governance of history that enshrines state-approved interpretations of crucial historical events in law. They can either be declaratory or regulatory, i.e., prescribing certain action or even criminalizing contrary views (such as Holocaust denial/negationism).

Microaggression

Acts, such as small comments, that while not intentionally, enhance biases towards marginalized groups. Microaggressions are based on biases and assumptions, but because the perpetrator is not directly behaving in an aggression or confrontational manner, they might not realise the stereotypes their actions are strengthening. Microaggressions can for example be assuming one’s background based on their outer appearance or expecting someone to like a certain food based on their ethnicity.

While microaggressions are often not intentional, they strengthen biases, uphold racial profiling, and discriminate against minorities. 

Missing Voices / Silenced Voices

A group of people based on attributes, such as gender, ethnicity and religion, that are not being heard or taken into account in storytelling, or decision-making processes. Thus, their voices are not heard. 

Moralization of History

Attributing a moral value to historical events using current moral values.

Multiperspectivity

The idea that history is an interpretive process with multiple possible narratives OR the practice of teaching multiple historical narratives as opposed to one ‘correct’ narrative.

Narratives

A story that encompasses a series of events that are connected together, and can be factual or fictional. 

  • Alternative Narratives: Narratives that are not provided by official societal structures, but often from independent people, social media, researchers, NGO’s and those who are silenced. Alternative narratives most often come from personal experiences. 
  • Entrance Narrative: Is composed of three elements; how a concept, event, or other, is seen in society, how and what information is given about this, and how personal emotions and experiences shape it for individuals. 
  • Dominant Narratives: The narrative that is most widely recognized or understood in society, and rises above other narratives. 
  • Grand Narratives: A concept that all historical narratives are intermittently connected to each other, and cannot be thought of as separate events. The aim with grand narratives is to create a grand picture of historical events. 
  • Hegemonic Narratives: Encode ideologies, protect against critique and function as mechanisms of social control with the ability to colonise consciousness and hide the social organisation of their production – shaping social lives and conduct.
  • Multiple Narratives: Multiple stories or tellings of a single event, often from different perspectives that view the event in different ways. 
  • Subversive Narratives / Counter Narratives: Represent a counter-hegemonic narrative that brings forward and gives a voice to socially marginalised and/or silenced perspectives.
Performativity

The concept that language has the power to implement change in the world, being a form of social action, not just a tool of description.

Physical Representation of Historical Legacies

Physical elements such as streets, monuments, buildings and so on that signify a historical time period, event or figure.

Pluralism

Represents the view that people with different views on life and it’s different parts can co-exist in a society in an appropriate way. Thus, political actions can be based upon different people equally. 

Principal Legacies

The legacy that causes an individual, event or object to be remembered. These legacies may not necessarily include all significant parts of the individual, event, or object. 

Provocation

Actions taken with the intention of causing a negative reaction.

Public Spaces

A public space refers to an area or place that is open and accessible to all peoples, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age or socio-economic level. These are public gathering spaces such as plazas, squares and parks.

Race

Race is a social construct, not a biologically categorised term, designed to create difference and set Europe and whiteness as superior. The concept has existed since the fifteenth century and has defined processes of European colonisation, imperialism and enslavement. Race is a product of racist ideologies. Within other contexts, definitions and understandings of race may differ. Race is not a universal concept.

  • Racism: prejudice, discrimination or antagonism directed at someone on the belief that their race is superior on an institutional or individual level, consciously or unconsciously. Racism evolves and adapts as societies change, taking on new forms to survive. For example, narratives such as ‘I don’t see colour’ hides the very real structural and institutional mechanisms of racism that perpetuate inequalities and oppression by denying the existence of social constructions of race and racism.
  • Institutional Racism: Also known as systemic or structural racism, refers to racism that is embedded in laws, regulations and procedures within a society or organisation.
  • Critical Race Theory: a radical lens, grounded in activism and intersectionality, that endeavours to make sense of, deconstruct and challenge racial inequality. CRT is based on an understanding of race and racism as social constructs and differential power dynamics.
Reconciliation

The act of resolving conflict in order to gain peace. Going further than to simply solve conflict, reconciliation is a process to achieve a deeper mutual understanding, in order to gain long-lasting peace.

Representation

The physical or symbolic picture of something that stands for an individual, a group, or a societal process. Representations can be problematic, as they do not always represent all those involved. For example, historical textbooks might represent colonialism from simply a western world-view. 

Roma

Roma, singular Rom, also called Romany (gypsy is considered pejorative), are an ethnic group of traditionally itinerant people who originated in northern India but live in modern times worldwide, principally in Europe, where they are one of the largest minorities, but do not have a recognised home country. The term ”Roma” refers to the whole minority group, within which there are different smaller groups with different traditions and cultures.

Roma people are discriminated against in Europe and encounter violations of human rights, hate-speech and segregation in society, such as in education and in the labour market. They often do not receive the same rights as other members of society, due to anti-gypsyism. 

Sectarianism

A political or cultural conflict between two groups often related to the form of government they live under. Prejudice, discrimination, or hatred can arise in these conflicts, depending on the political status quo and if one group holds more power within the government. Common examples of these divisions are denominations of a religion, ethnic identity, class, or region for citizens of a state and factions of a political movement.

In its most basic form sectarianism has been defined as, ‘the existence, within a locality, of two or more divided and actively competing communal identities, resulting in a strong sense of dualism which unremittingly transcends commonality, and is both culturally and physically manifest.’ The conflicts in Northern Ireland and Lebanon are considered sectarian.

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence is any sexual act or attempt to obtain a sexual act by violence or coercion, acts to traffic a person or acts directed against a person’s sexuality. Sexual violence itself is not a legal term, but encompasses different acts of sexual violence, that can be further defined as crimes, depending on the geographical location and nature of the incident. 

Sexual violence includes, among other acts, the sexual abuse of children, the sexual abuse of a significant other, rape, sexual assault, incest and drug-affiliated sexual abuse. Sexual violence can be perpretated by anyone of any gender, for example a family member, a spouse, a stranger or a partner. The relationship between the perpetrator and the victim does not make a difference in defining whether or not the action of sexual violence has occurred. 

Social Justice

A concept that people are responsible for their own actions and how they treat others. While for example, in law enforcement, there is a strict guideline for what is right and wrong, social justice focuses more on morals, social factors and creating and obliging to a common ground. 

Stakeholder

Someone who is either in charge of an action, or has power through monetary aid or their professional position. Stakeholders usually have a say in decision-making processes, while not necessarily having expertise on the subject at hand. 

Structural Inequality

Inequality perpetuated by institutions within a society which is caused by and exacerbated by the subordination of one group in various sectors, including but not limited to, access to employment, education, housing, resources and participation and representation in politics.

Victim

One who is harmed by or made to suffer under a circumstance or condition. The victim is not the perpetrator in the situation, but may falsely suffer from victim-blaming (the act of finding reasons to blame the victim for the actions taken against them).

White Supremacy / Supremacism

The belief that White people constitute a superior race and should therefore dominate society, typically to the exclusion or detriment of other racial and ethnic groups. White supremacy favors the maintenance and defense of White power and privilege. The belief has roots in the now-discredited doctrine of scientific racism, and was a key justification for colonialism.

In academic usage, particularly in Critical Race Theory or intersectionality, “White supremacy” can also refer to a social system in which White people enjoy structural advantages (privilege) over other ethnic groups, on both a collective and individual level, despite formal legal equality.