“Otherness” as Threat: Social and Educational Exclusion of Roma People in Greece


  • Christos Parthenis Department of Philosophy, Pedagogy and Psychology, University of Athens.
  • George Fragoulis


Roma, diversity, exclusion, Greece, policy


This paper focuses on aspects of the social and educational exclusion that Roma people face in the Greek context. It argues that diversity has been constructed as a threat for the security, the social cohesion, and the well-being of western societies. Drawing from two case studies of primary schools conducted in a highly deprived suburb of Athens, where most Roma live in harsh conditions, we argue that socially constructed dispositions regarding diversity and inadequate state policies are major obstacles for the improvement of educational opportunities and life chances of Roma people in Greece.

Author Biographies

Christos Parthenis, Department of Philosophy, Pedagogy and Psychology, University of Athens.

Christos Parthenis is assistant professor in Pedagogy at the Department of Philosophy, Pedagogy and Psychology of the University of Athens. He holds a PhD from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and an MSc in Science and Research from Gothenburg University, Sweden. For many years he has participated as an expert in the Programme "The Education of Returning Greek and Foreign Immigrant Children", and more precisely, for the years 1997-2000, 2002-2004, 2006-2008.  He is since 2013 up to now Academic Supervisor of the programme "Education of Roma Children" developed by the European Union in collaboration with the University of Athens and specifically, the Research Centre for  Education in Athens.  He is the author of various scholarly  publications including two books: Theory  and  Practice: Macro- and Micro Approaches to  Intercultural  Education in the Context of Applied  Education (2013) and Epistemological Principles of Intercultural Education(2008), in Greek language, while he has presented several papers at international conferences.

George Fragoulis

George Fragoulis has studied History at the School of Philosophy of the University of Athens. He graduated from the MA Programme "Education and Human Rights, Education and Social Discrimination" at the Faculty of Early Childhood Education of the University of Athens in collaboration with the Institute of Education, University of London and holds a phd from the University of Athens. He has taught Sociology of Education in the School of Philosophy and in a two years Programme of Teachers’ in service education in the Faculty of Early Childhood Education. Moreover, he has taught Education Policy and Management in the School of Pedagogical and Technological Education. He has worked in many university research programs, he has made announcements in Greek and international conferences and he has published papers in the fields of Sociology of Education, Education Policy and Intercultural Education.  




How to Cite

Parthenis, C., & Fragoulis, G. (2016). “Otherness” as Threat: Social and Educational Exclusion of Roma People in Greece. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 18(2), 39–57.



Articles (Peer-reviewed)