Definition of Xenophobia
Xenophobia is the extreme dislike of people of different races, ethnic communities, countries, religions, castes, classes, and cultures. It refers to the overstated animosity, antagonism, and fear of outsiders. Hatred of people who belong to outside communities is often driven by fear of newcomers and their diverse ethnic heritage.
According to evolutionary scientists, xenophobia is a fundamental matter seen in all communities that have been previously investigated.
In this context, the term “phobia” does not have a medical connotation; rather, it refers to a subset of the matrix of racist ideas based on discriminating speech and behavior.
Xenophobia is a discriminatory logic with a predominantly cultural emphasis against those cultural items or expressions seen as inherently “alien.” It refers to apprehension or prejudice against something or someone seen as alien.
A social and cultural hierarchy is created by xenophobia. It can involve a conscious or unconsciously misrecognition of other cultures because it both maintains and creates such social and cultural boundaries. Although it is applied to various social contexts, it primarily serves as the ideological foundation for nationalism and anti-immigrant discourses.
Xenophobia supports much of the right-wing ideology that emphasizes cultural differences and cultural incompatibility. In order to justify the racist policies, right-wing populist parties are increasingly using xenophobic rhetoric to frame their arguments.
Researchers in sociology and political theory apply it as a key notion in their macro-level investigations of how people form and then stigmatize or devalue such categories of “outsider.”
More migrants settling in new areas generates fear among the local population. As a result, locals develop an aversion to migrants. Xenophobic people tend to eliminate outgroups to preserve ethnic and national identity.
Italian sociologist Guido Bolaffi has rightly described xenophobia as the uncritical exaltation of different cultures.
Xenophobia can be limited by accepting a multicultural and plural society of different races and religions. The fundamental right to equality should be equally available to all individuals in a nation.
COVID has triggered anti-Asia racism in Western Europe and North America. Anti-China rhetoric has increased hate crimes against the Chinese community.