This article looks at the marginalization of the Roma from the perspective of socio-psychological dynamics of society. The author takes the specific case of Roma settlements in Slovakia, where he has conducted anthropological research, to illustrate how the mechanism of marginalisation functions. Drawing on the work of Tzvetan Todorov and Peter L. Berger, he argues that at the heart of human sociability - the ability and necessity to live among others - is the constant human need for attention and recognition from others. This basic human need affects the socio-psychological dynamics of society, including the marginalisation as well as integration of some of its groups. This need for attention and recognition leads to the emergence of complex 'counterworlds' or 'counter-societies', with their alternative value systems. The Roma settlements and urban ghettoes represent such counter-worlds that provide their inhabitants with attention, recognition, positive self-interpretation, and confirmation of their values. If the inhabitants of these counter-worlds are unable to fulfil this need anywhere else, then their integration into wider society cannot be achieved.
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