Xenophobia is defined as the fear of strangers, it is a broad term that may be applied to any fear of someone different from an individual.
Definition of Xenophobia
Xenophobia is usually rooted in the perception that members of the outgroup are foreign to the ingroup community.
Hostility towards outsiders is often a reaction to fear, and xenophobia is also associated with large-scale acts of destruction and violence against groups of people.
Signs of Xenophobia
Xenophobia may present a true fear in some cases for some people, but most xenophobic people do not have a true phobia, instead, they have discrimination against foreigners and immigrants.
Although xenophobia can be expressed in different ways, it still can be recognized through typical signes such as:
- Refusing to be friends with people solely due to their skin color, mode of dress, or other external factors.
- Feeling uncomfortable around people who fall into a different group.
- Difficulty taking a supervisor seriously or connecting with a teammate who does not fall into the same racial, cultural, or religious group.
- Going to great lengths to avoid particular areas.
Causes of Xenophobia
- Xenophobia can be attributed to a mismatch in the basic thinking process and culture of the local populace’s homeland.
- Painting a negative picture of foreigners as a whole, when an individual of the outgroup involves in violence or criminal act towards an individual of the local populace.
- The increase in competition for jobs because of the newcomers – the outgroup – made it harder for the locals to find or maintain their jobs (as replacements are available when needed); therefore, foreigners become a threat to their jobs.
- Sharing of resources, including natural ones, leads to stress on the economy and the general lifestyle of the natives.
- Another reason for xenophobia is the threat to the local heritage and legacy, as locals see foreigners as a danger to the culture, traditions, and customs of the locals.
Effect of of Xenophobia
Xenophobia has a vicious circle of destruction and harm once fed by institutions and people in positions of power. Xenophobia doesn’t affect people at the individual level only, but it affects entire societies on all levels, including cultural attitudes, economics, politics, and historical levels.
Here is another side: xenophobic people are not always direct and loud. Some practices veiled xenophobia, leading to even insidious effects on individuals and society.
Veiled xenophobia generates general mistrust, making it more difficult for people in certain groups to live within a society and affecting all aspects of life, including; healthcare access, housing access, education access, and employment opportunities.
This vicious circle of xenophobia has the power to cause damage to others rather than affecting only those who hold these attitudes.
- Hostility towards people of different backgrounds.
- Decreased social and economic opportunity for outgroups.
- Implicit bias toward members of outgroups.
- Hate crimes.
- Political positions.
- War and genocide.
- Controversial domestic and foreign policies.
Its Impact on Victims’ Health
“Micro-aggressions – small acts against someone – can make people over time feel depressed, unsafe, dismissed, disconnected, and constantly feeling like they’re being threatened.” – Thea Gallagher, PsyD.
Being the subject of xenophobic behaviors, attitudes, and actions can profoundly impact a person’s health. It can cause …
- Poorer health.
- An increased risk for social isolation.
- More likely to experience suicidal ideation.
That’s why everyone has to speak out against xenophobia and make it unacceptable. And as Dr. Saltz states: “make it clear that all humans are humans—period. That we all have differences from each other, and what is right is acceptance of differences within and outside of communities.”.
What are the Effects of Xenophobia?
– Hostility towards people of different backgrounds.
– A decreased social and economic opportunity for outgroups.
– Implicit bias toward members of outgroups.
What are the Effects of Xenophobia in the Community?
– Hate crimes.
– Political positions.
– War and genocide.
– Controversial domestic and foreign policies.
What are the 3 Factors that Lead to Xenophobia?
1. Xenophobia can be attributed to a mismatch in the local populace’s basic thinking process and culture.
2. The increase in competition for jobs because of the newcomers – the outgroup – made it harder for the locals to find or maintain their jobs.
3. Sharing of resources, including natural ones, leads to stress on the economy and the general lifestyle of the natives.