Minorities in Society



Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 1

Typically offered in

Autumn semester

Course description

The course aims to introduce students to the basic concepts of ethnic and minority studies as well as acquaint them with some of the most important contemporary debates concerning minority populations in various geographical regions. Thus, the class will focus on North America, Western Europe and Central and South East Europe. In the Western countries it looks at minority issues related to immigrant populations and the latest debates on multiculturalism, and in the CEE and SEE countries it mainly deals with the Roma question, and specifically with one aspect of it, contemporary Anti-Gypsyism.

Learning outcome, competences

  • Students will be able to assess new information and knowledge critically.
  • Students will know the major trends and theories in global migration.
  • Students will know about issues related to the migration of specific groups.
  • Students will be aware of the questions related to the integration of immigrant groups.


  • Students will be open to understand and accept norms and values of other cultural groups.
  • Students will be sensitive how to apply global values to local issues and will be able to take these into account during their future professional life.
  • Students become sensitive to discrimination of ethnic, religious, national, etc. groups.


  • Students will be able to take into account basic human rights, the cultural specificities and values of different groups.
  • Students will be able to apply their multicultural knowledge in their everyday practice so they will be able to apply this knowledge to develop and design and implement programs in the field of social integration.
  • Students will be able to understand and alter inter-group and intercultural relationships.
  • Students will be able to notice, understand and handle the relationship between the socioeconomic status and social integration.
  • Students will be able to critically assess political, policy and social processes of interethnic relations.
  • Students will be able to reflect on their own situation and develop a critical approach to ethnocentrism.

Content of the course
Topics of the course


  • Ethnicity
  • Race Approaches to racism
  • Multiculturalism debate: an introduction
  • Multicluturalism debate in: Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Roma in CEE countries
  • Anti-Gypsyism in CEE and SEE countries: Hungary, Bulgaria, The Czech Republic
  • Combating racism against the Roma

Learning activities, learning methods

  • Presentations of readings by students
  • Group work activities on questions related to the given topic
  • Using and working with other sources (videos, visual materials, artefacts) related to the given topic

Evaluation of outcomes
Learning requirements, mode of evaluation, criteria of evaluation:


● Students are required to attend classes regularly and participate actively in course discussions.

● During the course all students make presentations on the compulsory literature.

● Students will write an in-class closed-book final exam during the last class.

mode of evaluation:

  • In-class presentation
  • Final exam

criteria of evaluation: Students’ presentation demonstrate an understanding of the problem, and can raise relevant questions related to the given topic. In the written exam, students demonstrate a full understanding of concepts, processes and policy debates.



Compulsory reading list

  • Rogers Brubaker: Ethnicity, Race, and Nationalism. Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 35 (2009), pp. 21-42.
  • Essed, P.: Everyday Racism: A New Approach to the Study of Racism pp. 176-194. van Dijk, T., A.: Denying Racism: Elite Discourses of Racism. pp. 307-324.
  • In Essed, P. and Goldberg, D. T. (2002) Race critical theories : text and context. Malden, Mass. : Blackwell Publishers.
  • Steven Vertovec and Susanne Wessendorf: Introduction: assessing the backlash against multiculturalism in Europe. pp. 1-31.
  • Will Kymlicka: The rise and fall of multiculturalism?: new debates on inclusion and accommodation in diverse societies. pp. 32-49.
  • Ralph Grillo: British and others: from 'race' to 'faith'. pp. 50-71.
  • Patrick Simon and Valerie Sala Pala: "We're not all multiculturalists yet": France swings between hard integration and soft anti-discrimination. pp. 92-110.
  • Karen Schönwälder: Germany: integration policy and pluralism in a self-conscious country of immigration. pp. 152-169.
  • David Ley: Multiculturalism: a Canadian defense. pp. 190-206.
  • In Vertovec, S. and Wessendorf, S. (2010) The multiculturalism backlash: European discourses, policies and practices London ; New York : Routledge.
  • Roberta Gatti, Sandor Karacsony, Kosuke Anan, Celine Ferré, and Carmen de Paz Nieves: Being Fair, Faring Better Promoting Equality of Opportunity for Marginalized Roma. pp. 1-15.
  • Michael Stewart: Anti-Gypsyism: New Contours of Social and Political Exclusions -- Populism, Roma and the European Politics of Cultural Difference. pp. 3-23.
  • Janos Zolnay: Abusive Language and Discriminatory Measures in Hungarian Local Policy. pp. 25-41.
  • Georgia Efremova: Integralist Narratives and Redemptive Anti-Gypsy Politics in Bulgaria. pp. 43-66.
  • Karel Cada: Social Exclusion of the Roma and the Czech Society. pp. 67.79.
  • Britta Schellenberg: Strategies for Combating Right-Wing Populism and Racism: Steps Towards a Pluralist and Humane Europe. pp. 265-279.
  • Andras L. Pap: Dogmatism, Hypocrisy and the Inadequacy of Legal and Social Responses Combating Hate Crimes and Extremism : The CEE Experience. pp. 295-311.
  • In Stewart, M. (Ed.) (2012) The Gypsy "menace" : populism and the new anti-Gypsy politic. London : Hurst.
  • GYÖNGYÖSPATA 2011. THE LABORATORY OF THE HUNGARIAN FAR-RIGHT. Ökopolisz Foundation / Budapest / 2012

Recommended reading list

  • The primordialism debate pp. 73-90.
  • Key points in the ethnicity literature pp. 91-112.
  • In Fenton, S. (2003) Ethnicity. Cambridge: Polity.