Exploring the Social Representations of Roma in Online Hate Speech: findings from a preliminary study

The aim of the present research is to analyze online hate speech comments located in the most and least popular social media in Greece, regarding the representation of the Roma minority. Through the analysis of 4,369 comments, based on the Qualitative Content Analysis method, the study resulted in four distinct social representations that reflect the following four topics: national identity, language, education and social inclusion. The main conclusions indicate that Roma are mostly characterized as gypsies, while the ideological code “Us” and “Them” is obvious, reflecting the perceived superiority-inferiority that fuels discrimination, inequality and ultimately hate speech. Finally, the hate speech narratives seem to have internalised neoliberalism, as they neglect a reference to the primary responsibility of the State for addressing the social inequalities that Roma face and relocate this responsibility to the minority group which becomes even more minoritized.
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