XENOPHOBIA - FEAR OF FOREIGNERS

XENOPHOBIA - FEAR OF FOREIGNERS

Discrimination is a key cause of friction and disruption in cooperative partnerships that are increasingly essential in creating and sustaining sustainable development across cultural and national boundaries. As our society becomes more international, we witness more intense connections through commerce and migration, which helps to break down misunderstanding barriers and reduce prejudice. Globalization, on the other side, exacerbates conflicts of interest, fostering hatred and xenophobia. Such attitudes can lead to prejudice and even hate crimes, which cause further social harm in addition to harming individual victims. As COVID-19 spread across the world, hate crimes increased. According to studies, there is a higher proclivity for xenophobic behavior.

XENOPHOBIA

Fear of strangers, or xenophobia, is a wide phrase that can refer to any fear of someone who is different from us. Outsider hostility is frequently a reaction to fear. It usually entails the assumption that a conflict exists between an individual's ingroup and outgroup.

Although xenophobia frequently overlaps with other types of prejudice, such as racism and homophobia, there are crucial distinctions to be made. Whereas racism, homophobia, and other kinds of prejudice are based on specific qualities, xenophobia stems from the belief that members of the outgroup are strangers to the ingroup community.

The question of whether xenophobia is a legitimate mental disorder is still being debated.

 

CHARACTERISTICS

While xenophobia can manifest itself in a variety of ways, the following are common symptoms:

  • Feeling uneasy in the presence of persons from a different social group
  • Taking tremendous pains to avoid certain regions
  • Refusing to be friends with someone because of their skin colour, clothing style, or other outward aspects
  • It's difficult to take a boss seriously or connect with a teammate who isn't from the same ethnic, cultural, or religious background.

Most xenophobic persons do not have a real phobia, despite the fact that it may appear to be such. Instead, it's most commonly used to characterize those who are prejudiced against foreigners and immigrants.

People who are xenophobic usually feel that their culture or country is superior, desire to keep immigrants out of their society, and may even behave in ways that are harmful to people who are seen as outsiders.

IS XENOPHOBIA A MENTAL DISORDER?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not list xenophobia as a mental illness (DSM-5). Extreme racism and prejudice, on the other hand, has been identified by some psychologists and psychiatrists as a mental health issue.

Extreme types of bias, for example, have been proposed as a category of delusional illness by some. It's worth noting that proponents of this position also believe that prejudice becomes pathological only when it interferes with a person's capacity to operate in daily life.

Others contend that diagnosing xenophobia or racism as a mental disease is medicalizing a social problem.

TYPES

Xenophobia may be categorized into two kinds:

  1. Cultural Xenophobia: Objects, customs, or symbols connected with another group or nationality are rejected in this form of xenophobia. This can include things like language, clothes, music, and other cultural traditions.

 

  1. Immigrant Xenophobia: This kind entails the xenophobic individual rejecting those that he or she does not think belong in the ingroup community. Persecution, hatred, violence, and even genocide can result from this rejection of people of different beliefs or nations.

The desire to be a part of a group is universal, and strong identification with one group might even be beneficial. It may, however, lead to mistrust of people who are seen as outsiders.

It's natural, if not instinctual, to desire to safeguard the group's interests by removing threats to those interests. Unfortunately, members of a group's inherent protective instincts frequently drive them to avoid or even fight individuals who are regarded as different, even though they represent no genuine threat.

PREVALENCE IN RECENT YEARS

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an upsurge in racist events all across the world. Fear is fueled by the crisis, which manifests itself in xenophobia and prejudice.

People in the United Kingdom are requesting not to be treated by Asian physicians or nurses. Anti-Asian bigotry is on the rise in the United States, and it's not the first time. Following 9/11, Islamophobic sentiments in the United States rose, and many individuals fear that persons of East Asian ancestry may suffer in the same way as COVID-19. Disease outbreaks have traditionally been blamed on other countries and races.

Many black individuals in Chinese cities have suffered severe prejudice and racism as a result of the epidemic. According to reports from Guangzhou, black immigrants and ex-pats have been evicted from their homes and forced to self-quarantine. According to reports, the majority of Africans residing in Guangzhou have been tested despite displaying no symptoms, and they have not been allowed to leave the city after receiving negative findings. Several African nations have expressed dissatisfaction with China's treatment of its people; in response, China's Foreign Ministry has said that all foreigners are treated similarly.

 

Human Rights Watch claimed in a report, video, and Witness article that xenophobic harassment and violence against African and Asian immigrants residing in South Africa is common and occasionally deadly. Despite the approval of a government action plan to address xenophobia in March 2019, the government has done nothing to guarantee that assaults by members of the public, law enforcement officers, and government employees are investigated and those guilty are held accountable.

 

Xenophobia and racism are destructive beliefs that punish modern societies by destroying their open-mindedness by promoting the use of violence and dissent. Xenophobia and racism are particularly blind evaluations of communities based on false assumptions. Furthermore, one of the most important conclusions of this research is that these beliefs are to blame for the growth of violence and abhorrence in every society and that they occasionally lead to a loss of control and the occurrence of catastrophic catastrophes

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Psychologs Magazine

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