Why are Roma people being attacked in France? - Sciences Po Access content directly
Scientific Blog Post Year : 2019

Why are Roma people being attacked in France?


Between March 25 and April 9, 25 attacks against Roma people were recorded in France, with 22 between March 25 and 28 alone. The attacks took place primarily in underprivileged cities and towns around Paris, including Bobigny, Clichy-sous-Bois, Montreuil, Bondy, Colombes, Montfermeil, Saint-Ouen, Champs-sur-Marne, Aulnay and Sevran. According to initial reports, the attacks appear to have been organised and orchestrated by locals, often from poor and immigrant backgrounds, in areas in which Roma people also live. The current climate of collective mistrust, conspiracy and fake news is also amplified by the crisis of legitimacy that traditional sources of information such as media and the state are undergoing. This in turn makes people rely more on emotions and “gut level” feelings, of themselves and of others. Smartphone in hand, every member of the public is now a producer of “news”, and each of us can play an effective role in the social reinforcement of stereotypes, as Stefano Pasta showed in his work on the spreading of racism on social media. Each of us is particularly exposed to what sociologist Christopher Bail calls the “fringe effect”, in which the most extreme and radical opinions gain visibility in the public sphere. In their visibility, they seize a sense of legitimacy and redefine the contours of the debate, shifting it ever outward toward the fringe.


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Dates and versions

hal-02189134 , version 1 (19-07-2019)



Tommaso Vitale. Why are Roma people being attacked in France?. 2019. ⟨hal-02189134⟩
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