The Roma are a stigmatized group of people who have suffered discrimination throughout Europe for centuries. However, the recent massive migrations of Roma from Romania to Western Europe have exacerbated the so called Romaphobia and Antiziganism (Piasere 2012) in host countries. Empirical data (Ljujic et al., 2012) support the notion of Romaphobia as a qualitatively distinct type of prejudice. As part of an articulated investigation involving five EU countries (“MigRom: “The immigration of Romanian Roma to Western Europe: Causes, effects, and future engagement strategies”), this study aims to map Italian citizens’ feelings towards Romanian Roma (RR) and analyse how these emotions are associated with: 1) Perceived threats in terms of physical safety, public health, private property, the job market and economic resources; 2) attitudes towards RR; 3) stereotypes that the participants attribute to RR with reference to the warmth-competence model (Fiske et al., 2002). An on-line questionnaire was administered to 221 Italian residents. It included a list of 16 emotions, measures of attitudes, stereotypes and perceived threats. Participants reported a more negative attitude towards RR as compared to other groups of immigrants. They expressed more negative than positive feelings, with contempt and irritation being strongly associated with negative attitudes, while interest and sympathy were moderately correlated with positive attitudes. The stereotypes that were most frequently attributed to RR were sly, dirty, criminal, and poor and the only positive adjective was musical. Similarly, the most intense emotions elicited by RR were suspicion, anxiety and fear which was highly correlated with physical threat and danger. However, the emotions that showed the highest correlations with perceived threats and negative adjectives were anger and disgust. Interestingly, the participants were also curious about the RR. To date, few studies have investigated the emotions elicited by Roma people and the specific threats associated with them. Knowledge about the feelings that shape attitudes towards RR could help policy makers to address the social problems associated with multi-cultural coexistence and to choose the best acculturation strategies for both migrants and hosting communities. Piasere L. (2012). Scenari dell'antiziganismo. SEID. LjujicV.,Vedder P., Dekker H., Van Geel M. (2012). Romaphobia: A Unique Phenomenon? Romani Studies. 22(2), 141-152. Fiske S.T., Cuddy A.J.C., Glick P., Jun X. (2002). A Model of (Often Mixed) Stereotype Content: Competence and Warmth Respectively Follow From Perceived Status and Competition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 82(6), 878–902.
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