The media and the public perception of the Roma and the Sinti in Italy

Stefano Pasta


Although Italy is one of the countries with the lowest percentage of Roma and Sinti population, anti-gypsyism is higher than the European average. This is not due to demographic factors but to the inclusion policies adopted and the difficulties in social interaction between the Roma and the gadjo (non-Roma). De-segregation policies are needed. Meanwhile, anti-gypsyism has become “standardised”, meaning that it has been minced and widespread, becoming ever more pervasive and omnipresent. It has become socially acceptable and is now part of our system of values. In the “post-truth era”, Web and social media have been a crucial tool for the diversification and spreading of racist messages. The text also emphasizes the responsibility of media and politics, which continue to promote stereotypes about the Roma, strengthening the negative aspects and regarding them as a threat to the population. This attitude could be defined as a form of “organized ignorance”. Roma people are highly visible in public debate, but in fact they are always judged only on the basis of stereotypes and prejudice and never seen as individuals. No mention is ever made of the dynamic nature of the Roma’s identity or of the process of gradual transformation resulting from their secular interaction with majority society. Thinking of “the Roma” as objects and not individuals will only lead to their being trapped in the cage of an immutable culture. Here is the “paradox: we talk a lot about Roma and quite a lot of money is spent at the public level, but this does not seem to be sufficient to develop an appropriate policy that would provide opportunities for interaction and the possibility to get to know each other better. Contacts with Roma individuals are considered disreputable and the majority of people can happily do without.


Roma and Sinti minorities anti-gypsyism; intercultural relations; web; racism

Full Text:



Associazione 21 Luglio (2017). Rapporto annuale 2016. Roma.

Associazione Carta di Roma (2014). Notizie alla deriva. Secondo rapporto Carta di Roma. Roma.

Commissione Jo Cox sull’intolleranza, la xenofobia, il razzismo e i fenomeni d’odio (2017). Relazione finale. Roma: Camera dei deputati. Available at:

Dotti A. (2017). “Follonica: la gabbia del disprezzo”, in Cronache di ordinario razzismo. Quarto Libro bianco sul razzismo in Italia, edited by Lunaria: Roma, pp. 190-93.

Kende A., Tropp L. & Lantos Nóra A. (2017). Testing a contact intervention based on intergroup friendship between Roma and non-Roma Hungarians: reducing bias through institutional support in a non-supportive societal context. «Journal of Applied Social Psychology», 47/2017, pp. 47–55.

Naletto G. (2017). “Piazza Pulita: la ricerca di audience apre la strada al razzismo”. In Cronache di ordinario razzismo. Quarto Libro bianco sul razzismo in Italia, edited by Lunaria: Roma, pp. 86-91.

Pasta S. (2017a). L'inclusione delle politiche per i rom: una novità ancora da assimilare, in «Aggiornamenti Sociali», 11, pp. 739-748.

Pasta S. (2017b). Hate speech e questioni educative per la scuola. «Scuola Italiana Moderna», June, pp. 30-33.

Pasta S. (2018a). Razzismi 2.0. Brescia: Morcelliana-Scholé.

Pasta S. (2018b). Rom e sinti: tra stereotipi, distanza sociale, paradosso della visibilità e ignoranza organizzata. «Essere a scuola», 6 (Febbraio).

Pasta S. & Vitale T. (2017). “'Mi guardano male, ma io non guardo’. Come i rom e i sinti in Italia reagiscono allo stigma”, in Società, razzismi e discriminazioni. Studi e ricerche sull'Italia contemporanea, edited by Alfredo Alietti. Milano: Mimesis, pp. 217-241.

UNAR (2010). Strategia Nazionale d’Inclusione dei Rom, dei Sinti, e dei Caminanti 2012/2020. Attuazione Comunicazione Commissione Europea n. 173/2011. Roma: 2012; English version: UNAR, National Strategy for the Inclusion of Roma, Sinti and Caminanti Communities. European Commission Communication No. 173/2011. Roma: 2012.

Van Baar H. & Vermeersch P. (2017). The limits of operational representations. Ways of Seeing Roma beyond the Recognition-redistribution Paradigm. «Intersections: East European Journal of Society and Politics», 3(4), pp. 120-139.

Vitale T. (2010). Rom e sinti in Italia: condizione sociale e linee di politica pubblica, Milan: Osservatorio di Politica Internazionale Ispi. Available at:

Vitale T. & Caruso L. (2011). "Ripensare le politiche a livello locale dentro il quadro di una tutela nazionale delle minoranze", in La condizione di rom e sinti in Italia, edited by Bonetti P., Simoni A. & Vitale T.. Milano: Giuffrè, pp. 1241-1260.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 2282-0043 - Registered at the Court of Rome on Nov. 8, 2012, no. 305/2012

All articles are © Europa Ricerca Onlus