Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Published in Nomadic Peoples 22 (2018), pp 123–142.

doi: 10.3197/np.2018.220108


Copyright © 2018 Commission for Nomadic Peoples. Published by The White Horse Press. Used by permission.


This study examines the use of the metonymies zingari/nomadi/rom [Gypsies/Nomads/Roma] in Italian media discourse, in order to critically reflect on their relation to the perception of Roma. The author analyses the frequency of these terms in general discourse and crime discourse, as well as the way they are used in context. The findings reveal that nomadi and rom are used to directly and indirectly index Roma, and have a sig­nificant impact on their ethnicization and criminalization. In addition, the episodic framing of crime events, combined with the use of these metony­mies, erases the Italian government’s responsibility for the conditions of Roma in Italy.