BEAMS (Breaking down European Attitudes towards Migrant/Minority Stereotypes)

Project duration
Responsible for the project
Péteri György
European Commission Directorate-General Justice

BEAMS (Breaking down European Attitudes towards Migrant/Minority Stereotypes) brings together 15 partners from 11 different EU states to better understand the link between popular culture stereotypes of migrant and minority groups and discriminatory attitudes of the consumers/citizens, which still prevent such groups from obtaining full rights of citizenship in many respects.

The media and entertainment industries – simply referred to as “popular culture” – are powerful agents of stereotyping. They have a fundamental role in replicating societal trends, shaping public opinion, producing and reproducing stereotypical representations of groups, communities and individuals, and “fixing” their characteristics and identities over time and space.

The partners join force to raise awareness and educate young Europeans to “stop watching and start seeing” stereotypes and the different mechanisms underpinning them, and to use an informed and critical look to break down the negative correlation between stereotypes and discriminatory behaviors towards specific migrant and minority groups.

The project’s specific objectives are:

  1. To identify the mechanisms of creation / perpetuation of traditional and new stereotypes (perception and self perception) of mainstream and minority popular culture (PC), in particular through iconic and new media channels
  2. To assess the link between PC production, the public perception of stereotypes and discriminatory, racist and xenophobic trends in different groups and to provide input for awareness raising actions to counter such trends
  3. To raise awareness and educate to increase the critical understanding and changing public discourse on minorities, between minorities and mainstream groups,  esp. among young generations and cultural producers by implementing concrete pilot actions of PC creation with youth (in school and community groups)
  4. To share the results and the solutions deployed by the project with larger portions of population, PC producers, public and stakeholders at the local, national and EU level in order to cross fertilize and make available methods and results for further use/implementation.

The project has started in January 2013 and will run until the end of 2014, but this is not the end. The tools and methods used in the project are planned to inspire other actors locally and Europe-wide, and to become a viable example to stop watching, start seeing and acting on fundamental rights for all citizens.

Our report on Migrant/minority stereotypes in popular culture production in Hungary is available now.

Our report on Stereotypes, perception and discrimination in Hungary is available now.

We are happy to share our toolkit that aims to show Menedék’s media workshop as a good practice for teachers and other professionals working on the development of social sensitivity. It contains both the methodology and syllabus, and also the recommendations and feedbacks of the experts who have realized the workshop. This toolkit provides not just ideas for training activities that can be used in sensitizing programs, but also a new approach to deal with the issue. 
The multimedia version of the toolkit (in Hungarian) is available here.
The English translation of the content is available here.

You can find more information on the project website at

The project is co-financed by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme of the European Union