Anti-Roma Attitudes as Expressions of Dominant Social Norms in Eastern Europe

  • Citation: Kende, Anna, Márton Hadaricsa, and Barbara Lášticová. “Anti-Roma Attitudes as Expressions of Dominant Social Norms in Eastern Europe.” International Journal of Intercultural Relations 60 (2017): 12–27.
    • Topics:
    • Regional Studies
    • Keywords:
    • Anti-Roma prejudice
    • intergroup contact
    • nationalism
    • normative context
    • overt racism

Although one of the most severe forms of bias all over Europe, anti-Roma prejudice has been neglected within social psychology. We argue that anti-Roma attitudes need to be recognized as a unique form of prejudice because (a) they reflect socially approved dominant societal norms, (b) intergroup contact increases rather than decreases prejudice, and (c) not just negative stereotyping, but also cultural distancing of Roma people is a form of social exclusion. We developed an integrative Attitudes Toward Roma Scale (ATRS) based on existing measures and theoretical assumptions about prejudice toward Roma people. We conducted a study (N = 1082) relying on student and community samples in Hungary and Slovakia. Exploratory factor analysis revealed and confirmatory factor analysis supported the structural equivalence of a three-factor solution of the16-item scale, consisting of Blatant Stereotyping, Undeserved Benefits, and Cultural Difference. Our findings confirmed that intergroup contact with Roma people is associated with more negative attitudes, and prejudice is mostly expressed in blatantly negative ways, made possible by social contexts that approve of these beliefs. The analysis also revealed that essentialist, romanticized ideas of cultural differences between Roma and non-Roma populations contribute to the psychological distancing of Roma people from the national ingroup.

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