Social Invisibility and Discrimination of Roma People in Italy and Brazil


  • Giannino Melotti
  • Mariana Bonomo
  • Julia Alves Brasil
  • Paola Villano


In everyday debates on topics such as cultural differences, it seems relevant to analyze not only institutional conversations or speeches, but also mass-media communications. The way the media portray social events contributes to the construction of our categories of explanation of the world. The main purpose of this research is to analyze the representations of ‘gypsies’ in news articles published in some of the most important national newspapers in Italy and Brazil. Results show that Italian news focuses on the living conditions of Roma people, stereotypes, crimes suffered or attributed to them, and political and cultural debates on the Roma question in Italian cities. Brazilian news indicated themes associated with Roma in the context of artistic-cultural productions (films, soap operas, songs, dances and opera and theatre plays), mentioned with other Brazilian traditional peoples and communities, as well as the death of gypsies during the Nazi period. The paper discusses the processes of social invisibility and the social production of the (re)presentation of cliché images of Roma as a social problem, marginalized in the sphere of public policies and of their fundamental rights.