Giving Memory A Future
it en

What people say about the Roma...

Download Interviewee Biographies

“Si giudica qualcuno non per le sue effettive caratteristiche personali ma in quanto membro di una specifica categoria o etnia”. (Gordon W. Allport, La natura del pregiudizio, 1954).

Italians’ thoughts on Roma and Sinti people...

Arrigoni P., Vitale T., "Quale legalità? Rom e gagi a confronto" in Aggiornamenti sociali, n. 3/2008, pp. 182- 94.
The article presents a statistical survey (conducted by ISPO-Italian Interior Ministry, in 2007) and its findings: Italians’ views of Roma and Sinti people are influenced by poor knowledge (‘56% of respondents stated they had no idea at all how many Roma people resided in Italy’; 84% of respondents thought them to be mostly nomadic’; ‘only 24% of the survey sample knew that roughly half of all Roma people in Italy hold Italian citizenship’), as well as by a negative judgment: ‘The Roma and Sinti are the least popular people with Italians."
 - Abstract
 - Citation
 - Statistical tables -

Vitale T., Claps E., "Not Always the Same Old Story: Spatial Segregation and Feelings of Dislike against Roma and Sinti in Large Cities and Medium-size Towns in Italy", in Stewart M., Rövid M. (eds), "Multi-Disciplinary Approaches to Romany Studies", CEU Press, Budapest, 2010, pp. 228-53.

(Fondazione Romanì Italia)

Francese M.T.M., "I ghetti mentali", relazione al XXIV convegno Aizo "Il genocidio di rom e sinti e le nuove intolleranze" (Torino, 10-11 ottobre 2011). [‘Mental Ghettoes. Paper presented at the 24th AIZO Conference on ‘The Roma and Sinti Genocide and present-day intolerance,’ held in Turin on Oct. 10-11, 2011].
A survey was conducted in Turin in 2008-2009 investigating two main areas: people’s perceptions of Gypsies (who they are, how they are viewed, what is known about them), and people’s attitudes to them (indifference, rejection.) 

Dirty: with 57.5% of occurrences, it is the most frequent adjective used in connection with Roma people.
Ghetto: A city district inhabited by a marginalized minority; a rundown, dodgy area. An enclosed place or area that ends up separating and excluding its inhabitants from the rest of society.
Mental: (adj.) of or relating to the mind, occurring or experienced in the mind, not expressed in words or in writing.




A comparison with the rest of Europe...

• Hostility toward Roma and Sinti people: it is widespread all over Europe, but there are wide variations between EU countries.

"Are you uneasy at the idea of having Roma neighbors?" 
47% of Italians answered yes, compared with the 24% EU average.

"Are you willing to have Roma people as friends?"
Only 7% of Italians said yes.

(Source: Eurobarometer, European Value Survey, 1999 and 2008, pp. 43-45)

• The differences in attitudes between EU countries are not connected with demographic factors, such as the size of the Roma minority in each country, but rather with the inclusion policies adopted, as well as with the opportunities created for Roma people to establish interpersonal contact and make friends with non-Roma individuals (de-segregation policies) in these countries.

"The general trend is one of increasing hostility. Elsewhere we have noted that one extreme is recorded among a small group including only two countries, Italy and the Czech Republic—where 60% of the population seems to harbor anti-Gypsy sentiments. In addition to that, in other countries such sentiments gradually decrease until they reach very low levels. Suffice it to say that between Italy, on one end of the scale, and Sweden and France on the opposite, a difference of about 40 percentage points is consistently observed. There are also significant differences between countries we tend to view as similar in their welfare and other systems, such as Italy and Spain: the difference between them is around 37%."

Continue reading