Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Rheeda L. Walker
Xenophobia is derived from the terms phobos (meaning “fear”) and xenos (“strangers”). Thus, xenophobia is defined as fear of strangers or of the unknown or of anything that is different. The fears are unwarranted and triggered by unfounded beliefs and generalizations. These fears sometimes incite hostile behavior and attitudes toward the unknown target. Some scholars suggest that xenophobia is at the root of racism such that individuals see themselves as part of a superior racial ingroup of similar individuals and see other people as part of an inferior outgroup. The outgroup members are ...