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58 IntroSems. 25 Stanford fountains. 1 Spring 2020. Don’t suffer from FoHo FoMo!
Psychology of Xenophobia
What causes xenophobia? The current worldwide “epidemic” of xenophobia, or fear of strangers and foreigners, makes it necessary to understand this phenomenon, its characteristics, manifestations across history, and theories of its causes. Researchers have hypothesized that xenophobic attitudes and behaviors are often triggered by a fear that foreigners are a threat to one’s community or national identity. Decades of research on minority communities has also documented how stress associated with stigma, intimidation, and discrimination is detrimental to physical and mental well-being. In this seminar, we question hypotheses about xenophobic attitudes, and will explore the extent to which communities experience different psychological impacts from xenophobia. We will begin by taking a closer look at Executive Order 13769, dubbed the “Muslim Ban,” which suspended the entry of citizens from multiple Muslim-majority countries and banned the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely. The “Muslim Ban” coincided with the highest level of hate crimes against Muslims in America. After this case study, students will lead discussions on other forms of xenophobia in order to better grasp the psychology of xenophobia and its societal ramifications. A combination of group discussions, talks by guest speakers, and field trips to community partners will provide students with different perspectives and a deeper understanding of these topics.