How would you define xenophobia? What shape or form does it take in the US? Supp

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How would you define xenophobia? What shape or form does it take in the US? Support your analysis with specific examples.

May 7th, 2015

XENOPHOBIA, of course, has many precise "dictionary" and traditional definitions, but in more contemporary times -- specifically in the United States of America in modern culture -- it has come to mean the following, in terms of public policy and public opinion: "Xenophobia" is an unfortunate, moderately uncommon phenomenon in which the holder of the condition perceives a different culture to inspire "fear" in him or, paradoxically, that this fear is fanned like a flame by likewise ascribing ultimate power to the other culture.

AS A SOMEWHAT offensive yet illustrative example, a person who truly believed "all those Jews are out to get us, and they control the entire world's banking system" would be wholly and completely absorbed by xenophobia. Simultaneously, he fears the Jewish people -- and ascribes great power to them. As a corollary, sometimes the fear is couched in different terms of derision and contempt: Here, the real-word example would be: "I don't like all those immigrants sneaking across the border from Guatemala and El Salvador. They are all criminals, plus they have a myriad of contagious diseases which will surely spread if they enter." The fear in this case is more than tangentially tied to perceiving the members of a different culture as loathsome creatures.

OBVIOUSLY, by the duality of the definition, a xenophobic individual believes his own culture is free from such nefarious behavior or baseline physical maladies; this almost goes without saying. His culture -- and his culture alone -- is the "correct" one and, as such, is superior to all others, and may even be "chosen" to be so. A relevant example here would be the bizarre doctrine of "Manifest Destiny," in which western pioneers (and supportive politicians) actually believed it was God's great will that the United States of America spread its occupied territory from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. A xenophobic individual would thus believe his destiny, his political party, and his religious preference were chosen by either fate or God, and make him superior to all others. Closely related concepts are ethnocentrism and sociocentrism.

May 7th, 2015

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May 7th, 2015
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May 7th, 2015
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