Student research shows: Roma stereotypes not born out by reality. Results to be presented at public event.

Posted on May 27, 2010 by


Attitudes held by the public about the Roma community are likely to improve if communities have more contact with one other, according to research carried out by several groups of 3 students as part of the Year 3 module on ‘Romani Linguistics’. The research investigated Romani families who have emigrated to Manchester in recent years, and attitudes among local residents of non- Romani origin and public service employees. The results will be presented at a special event at the University, which is expected to attract key staff from Manchester City Council, local services and voluntary sector agencies. The findings of the survey in East Manchester also found that suspicion toward the Roma is based on pre-conceptions and second-hand reports rather than on direct encounters with the Romani community. Yaron Matras teaches the module and supervised the students’ research. He said: “These results add to the body of evidence that communication barriers are the root of many problems between the Roma and non Roma communities. Though the overwhelming majority of local respondents were found to hold negative attitudes, they admitted that those attitudes were formed mainly on the basis of media reports and hearsay rather than personal encounters.” Research carried out by Matras and his team earlier this year  looked at the Romani community in the same area of South Gorton. The team concluded that many Romani left their home town in South Eastern Romania to escape poverty, social exclusion and discrimination as ‘Gypsies’. However, many found it hard to make a living in the UK. The team recommended that outreach workers of Romani background be recruited to serve as ‘role models’ for the younger generation

The event will take place on Thursday, 10 June, at 5pm in the main Lecture Theatre, Samuel Alexander Building (Humanities), on the University’s Oxford Road campus. Further information: Romani Project phone (0161) 275 5999, <romani@manchester.ac.uk>

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