The Xenophobia is a kind of prejudice characterized by hatred, hostility, rejection and hatred of foreigners , which can be based on various historical, cultural, religious, among others.

It is a social problem based on intolerance and / or social discrimination , facing certain nationalities or cultures.

This problem generates violence between the nations of the world, from humiliation, embarrassment and physical, moral and psychological aggression. All of this, mainly promoted by the non-acceptance of different cultural identities .

In short, xenophobia is considered a type of irrational aversion to foreigners , which generates too much anguish and anxiety in patients. In such cases, treatment is done through behavioral therapy.

Origin of the Term

Initially, the term “ xenophobia ” was incorporated into psychology studies in order to name a psychiatric disorder in people who suffer from excessive fear of foreigners.

For the Greek philosopher Socrates (469 BC-399 BC) the concept of “foreigner” does not exist:

” I am neither Athenian nor Greek, but a citizen of the world .”

Socrates thus defines someone who abdicates his nationality and thinks of humanity as a whole, regardless of culture, religion, custom, traditions, race, etc.

From the Greek, the term ” xenophobia ” is formed by two terms: ” xénos ” (foreign, strange or different) and ” phóbos “, (fear), which literally corresponds, “the fear of the different”.

Ethnocentrism and Racism

The xenophobia is related to various types of concepts that include discrimination, formed by the feeling of superiority among human beings. Thus, ethnocentrism and racism are two concepts associated with certain types of discrimination.

Ethnocentrism is based on the thought of the superiority of one culture over the other (cultural prejudice). Racism, on the other hand, designates a type of prejudice associated with the races, ethnicities or physical characteristics of individuals (racial prejudice).

See also: Types of Prejudice

Xenophobia in the World

In America, the United States is considered one of the most xenophobic countries, making it difficult for immigrants to enter the country, especially Mexicans and Latinos in general.

It is important to note that the migrations of the 21st century, unlike the previous century, are based on the search for new opportunities in which the foreigner settles in the country of destination.

This is mostly the case in countries in the northern hemisphere that receive immigrants from the southern hemisphere in search of work and better living conditions.

The immigrant can be coerced by different hostile attitudes of the discriminators, from disrespect to their beliefs, habits, accents, physical appearance, socioeconomic conditions, etc.

Recent studies point out that Europe has excelled in the theme of xenophobia, where it is considered a crime and violation of human rights. There are still many cases of discrimination there, (even among Europeans), with some of the targets of xenophobic acts being Asian , African and Latino immigrants .

Xenophobia in Europe

Studies report that cases of Xenophobia in Europe have increased considerably in recent years. Many researchers believe that the economic crisis , which many European countries are going through, directly reflects the feeling of rejection and aversion to foreigners .

Thus, the excess of foreigners, characterized by new migratory flows from different countries, corroborate the search for better opportunities for studies, work, housing, etc.

When thinking about the resident side, it is clear that the biggest concern is with nationalism . Some fear the loss of their national identity, such as customs and traditions.

It is worth paying attention to the holocaust , one of the events of mass extermination of Nazi Germany Jews, demonstrates the feeling called “ anti-Semitism ”, that is, the hatred for the Jewish race.


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