Majority Population Attitudes towards the Roma Minority as a Specific Component of the Group-Focused Enmity Syndrome in the Slovak Republic

Peter Patyi

Peter Patyi works as an assistant professor at the Department of Social Work of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Social Work at Trnava University in Trnava.

OBJECTIVES: The study is dedicated to the analysis of societal attitudes towards the Roma minority in Slovakia, representing inter-ethnic conflict between the majority population and the 2nd biggest minority in Slovakia. THEORETICAL BASE: The model of study is based on the concept of Group-focused enmity syndrome by the “Bielefeld group” of researchers. METHODS: The research project was implemented through the quantitative sociological survey strategy. Empirical data were obtained through standardized interview technique applied to the group of 1,050 respondents. For data collection, we used standardized research tool developed by specialists from Université De Genève, focused on prediction and monitoring of the population’s hostile attitudes development within the EU. OUTCOMES: The survey outcomes demonstrated significantly adverse attitudes of the majority population towards the Roma ethnic population; mainly in structural conditions, first in the respondent groups according to political structure, indicating strong influence of political elite on the population attitude orientation, and the existence of group-focused enmity syndrome with Romaphobia as a specific component in the Slovak conditions. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: The Slovak society perceives its relations to the Roma minority group on various levels. The finding could be beneficial for further investigation of the problem but mainly for intervention strategies dealing with real changes at the society attitudes.

Roma ethnic groups, majority, Romaphobia, prejudices, attitudes, society

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