X is for... Xenophobia

The Psychologist A to Z continues.

Suggested by Richard Bentall, University of Sheffield 

‘In a world of mass migration, xenophobia – a social-psychological phenomenon – is an increasing challenge to the political and economic stability of nations.’

A November 2009 article on parasites by Justin H. Park and Mark Schaller highlighted a surprising finding: that women in the first term of pregnancy – whose bodies are naturally immunosuppressed – show especially high levels of xenophobia and ethnocentrism.

In his Presidential Address published in the June 2017 issue, Peter Kinderman admitted ‘we could have done more to condemn xenophobia and falsehoods, hate-filled political rhetoric, increasing inequality, threats to social inclusion and humanitarian principles’.

In his November 2016 article on ‘zombie psychology’, Roger Luckhurst recalled how one of the early zombie films, 1936’s Revolt of the Zombies, played on American xenophobia about Chinese immigration – ending with images of a long-dead Asian army re-awoken from sleep and inexorably advancing.

Is how prone you are to disgust linked to xenophobia? Nick Haslam considered the evidence in his (enduringly popular) June 2012 article on ‘toilet psychology’.

- Find our almost-complete A to Z here.

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