Socialisation features of Roma children

Edita Štuopytė

Abstract


Socialisation of Roma children which is related to education is one of the most important problems of Roma community. In the recent years an increasing number of Roma children have attended school but only a few Roma have completed the programme of secondary education. The literacy of others is poor, so it is important for their teachers to be aware of their needs and understand the difficulties of their socialisation.
The aim of the article is to reveal the socialisation features of Roma children. The article discusses the primary institution of socialisation for Roma children – the ethnic family; it analyses social and educational problems of Roma children which affect the success of socialisation and reveals the features of socialisation of Roma children at school.
The results of research literature analysis and empirical results have shown that a Roma family is an institution where ethnical socialisation takes place and which functions to help a child to become a community member. The social exclusion of the Roma, which is increased by social (unemployment, accommodation problems, poverty, health) and educational (adult illiteracy, low level of education, teaching children) problems, is an obstacle to the success of children’s socialisation.
Considerable attention in Roma families is paid to ethnic socialisation; therefore, Roma children feel they have a strong national identity and may attract discrimination at school. One may assume that a changing attitude of Roma parents and their wish for their children’s education will be an incentive for children to seek education; children’s learning may also depend on relationship between Roma children and parents with school. Despite some negative experiences, Roma children do not feel excluded at school; they communicate and have friends with whom they not only learn together but also have a good time in extracurricular activities. Roma children have opportunities for socialisation not only during formal classes but also during extracurricular activities.
School for Roma children often is the first formal institution where they may get acquainted with other cultures. However, the attitude of teachers and classmates to their ethnic values, way of life and other cultural differences may be an obstacle for the socialisation of Roma children at school.

Keywords


Roma family; ethnic group; Roma education; socialisation of Roma children

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789