17 July 2017

Differentiation in the Making: Consequences of School Segregation of Roma in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia

Vera Messing

This recently published article -- a part of European Education's 2017 special issue (Vol 49, Issue 1) on "A Decade of Roma Inclusion" edited by Christian Br├╝ggemann & Eben Friedman -- examines how various forms of ethnic segregation in education affect everyday life and future aspirations of Roma youth in three Central and Eastern European countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia. It draws on a comparative European investigation about the diverging experiences and paths of ethnic minority youth in Europe (EDUMIGROM). The article investigates how segregation actually comes about in Central and Eastern Europe and looks at ways in which various forms of separation shape the everyday experiences and future aspirations of youth through the lenses of 14–15-year-old Roma students and their teachers. It reveals that studying in segregated Roma schools limits young Romas’ chances for further education and deprives them of interethnic social networks. Meanwhile, studying in segregated classes of ethnically mixed schools has a devastating effect on the development of young people’s identity, self-esteem, and interethnic relationships.

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