Youth and youth with fewer opportunities against Antigypsyism

From childhood, we are explaining ourselves the world around us in primary categories. Elderly thought us about “Gypsies” as some groups of people with different culture than “our’s”, causing to see them as out-groups. But why does this deviation from majority exists? In the first place, why is it more difficult to become a part of the group, if you are different?

The main idea of this workshop is to show young people how our brain work and make them cto consider why we tend to think the way that is unfair to others. As some of the actions are purely evolutional, being aware of it can alternate our behaviour. 



exclusion, identity, stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination



9 – 40 participants



60 minutes



Explanation on group formation will be provided through concept of similarity. Following science, human being tends towards group formatting with similar peers due to attractiveness, easiness and safety. On the other side, being excluded causes physical pain, but the people still need something to distinguish themselves. Understanding of psychological processes will enhance capacity to understand, tolerate and support diversity.


  • No discrimination
  • Equality
  • Freedom


  • To understand psychological processes that cause exclusion and tendency towards similarity
  • To understand the differences between biological mechanisms and individual constructs of group formation
  • To avoid the biased differentiation, segregation and discrimination


  • Markers
  • Flipchart
  • Post-it papers


  • Prepare the chairs and papers in a spacy classroom


  1. Distribute the empty post-stickers and ask participants to write one of their personal characteristics on the paper. Next, they should try to find the other participant with the same written characteristic.
  2. Pick-up 3 to 5 persons with the most interesting characteristic and write the words on the flipchart. Ask other participants to ascribe themselves into one of these categories by standing in group with the chosen person.
  3. Reflect on the happening. Did they have difficulties in describing themselves? Did they have difficulties ascribing to the characteristic of another person? Why so?
  4. Once the groups are formed, ask them to reflect and write down a case, when their same characteristic was a reason for exclusion or acceptance.
  5. Groups should present the cases. Make sure they share how they felt during the situation they are describing.
  6. Summarize the outcomes and provide the theoretical background for the actions, supported by famous socio-psychological experiments. 
  7. Discuss the applications on a real-life environment and situations with Roma communities.


  • Why different cannot be included? Demonstrate background knowledge on psychological processes.
  • How bad is to be excluded? Provide example of negative practice and its effects.
  • What can be done to be included? Provide the example of a good practice.
  • Does it work? Critically evaluate it.



Explaining psychological through concept of similarity should be broken to three categories:

Similarities are attractive due to validation of our beliefs, mutual liking, smooth interaction and dissimilarity repulsion.

Similarities are easy – they contribute to the organisation of our world, social categorisation and are the answer to our need of belong. Underlying brain processes are stereotypes that can evolve to prejudices and ultimately discrimination.

Similarities are safe – why we do what we do, if we are going to die anyway? We become immortal by ascribing to a cultural view. Lack of complementation with cultural view may result in existential anxiety, as alternate views might suggest we are wrong.

Belonging is a primary instinct – exclusion triggers brain’s areas for physical pain.



Encourage the group to further explore the underlying biological and societal processes that make them think the way they do.



Ostracism; A Scientific look at shunning & the effects on those ostracised. ‘The Silent Treatment’:

Death Anxiety