PUBLIC EDUCATION TO COMBAT XENOPHOBIA: AN EXAMINATION OF THE ROLE OF THE PRINT MEDIA - Vicki Igglesden

 
No. 117

  PUBLIC EDUCATION TO COMBAT XENOPHOBIA:
AN EXAMINATION OF THE ROLE OF THE PRINT MEDIA

                 Vicki Igglesden

                   April 2002
Working Paper No. 117
                    ISSN 1474-3280

  PUBLIC EDUCATION TO COMBAT XENOPHOBIA:
AN EXAMINATION OF THE ROLE OF THE PRINT MEDIA

                Vicki Igglesden

                     April 2002

                 Development Planning Unit
                 University College London
                   9 Endsleigh Gardens
                    London, WC1H 0ED
                      dpu@ucl.ac.uk
ABBREVIATIONS

CEC     Commission of the European Communities

CoE     Council of Europe

ECRI    The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance

EUMC    European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia

IMRAX   The International Media Working Group Against Racism &
        Xenophobia

OECD    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
EDUCATION TO COMBAT XENOPHOBIA:
             AN EXAMINATION OF THE ROLE OF THE PRINT MEDIA

                                           CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION                                                                             1

CHAPTER 1:    Understanding the Basis of Xenophobia                                      2
     1.1      Identify Politics And The Nexus Of ‘Race’ And Nation                       2
     1.2      The Cognitive And Affective Bases Of Xenophobia                            4
              1.2.1. Cognition: Categorisation And Stereotypes                           7
              1.2.2. Affect                                                              8
      1.3     Conclusion                                                                10

CHAPTER 2:    Institutional Factors In The Generation Of Xenophobia And
                        Policy Responses                                                10
      2.1     Institutions of the state: legislation, immigration policy and
                        political culture                                               10
              2.1.1. Immigration Legislation And Citizenship Policy                     11
              2.1.2. Immigration Policies and Integration                               11
              2.1.3. Political Institutions and Political Culture                       14
      2.2.    Strategies For Effective Public Education Policies To
                        Counter Xenophobia                                              15
      2.3.    Conclusion                                                                17

CHAPTER 3:    Possibilities For And Constraints On The Newspaper Media’s
                       Role In Public Education To Combat Xenophobia                    18
      3.1.    Objectives For A Newspaper Media Based Public Education Policy            19
      3.2.    Constraints                                                               19
      3.3.    Possibilities For A Future Orientation Of The Newspaper Media In Public
                       Education                                                        21

CONCLUSION                                                                              22

BIBILOGRAPHY                                                                            24

ENDNOTES                                                                                32
EDUCATION TO COMBAT XENOPHOBIA:
                      AN EXAMINATION OF THE ROLE OF THE PRINT MEDIA

               INTRODUCTION                              exclusion through ‘othering’ in the context of
                                                         the nation-state promote discriminatory
Although the contemporary levels of                      ideologies and practices. I will then discuss
xenophobia1 may be alarming, the                         what role cognition and affect play in the
phenomenon is certainly far from new, being a            creation and support of discriminatory
central theme in twentieth-century world                 ideologies. Cognitive and affective
history (Thomas 2000:48). Muller (1998:33)               understandings of the basis of xenophobia are
declares that immigration ‘is likely to be a             important as they provide some insight into the
major concern in OECD countries for decades              ‘irrational’ fears and anxieties that accompany
to come’ and that the increase of nativism2              prejudice. Schul and Zukier (1999) argue that
signals the need for greater understanding of            the contemporary tenacity of stereotypes is
how immigrants can be integrated into host               indicative of the need to re-examine their
societies. The contexts in which xenophobia              impact and origin in order to understand how
arises represent particular conjunctions of              to combat them.
socio-economic and political conditions,                           In Chapter 2, I will consider aspects of
necessitating the comprehension of the                   the role of institutional factors in the generation
specifics of individual contexts of                      of xenophobia and, in the light of this, will
contemporary prejudice. Such knowledge is                propose what policy responses should be with
crucial for the formulation of effective policies        regard to public education to combat
for the reduction of xenophobia.                         xenophobia. The institutional framework is
           Public education3 is an essential             important in so far as it plays a central role in
component of policies aimed at facilitating              defining attitudes to those understood as
social justice for immigrant minorities. As much         ‘other’ within a polity. The first aspect of the
as it is widely recognised to be essential, there        institutional framework that I will discuss is
is little discussion as to what exactly public           legislation, both that designed to control the
education should set out to achieve and how              flow of immigrants and that designed to
this might be approached. There is, however,             combat discrimination. I will then consider a
wide acknowledgement of the role of                      selection of immigrant integration policies and
politicians and the media in influencing public          how these influence beliefs about criteria for
opinion.                                                 belonging4.. Finally, I will briefly discuss the
           Broadly, an examination of the nature         role of political culture in both generating and
of xenophobia as a basis for public education            supporting xenophobic ideologies. In my
policy formulation needs to take a holistic and          review of institutional frameworks I will indicate
integrated approach. Analysis of the politics of         how ambiguity and incoherence have
‘race’ needs to deal with the complex                    generated conditions that not only encourage
intertwining of national, local and everyday             the racialization of social relations but also
processes of racialisation and broader                   make the formulation of a coherent public
processes of political and social change                 education policy difficult.
(Solomos & Back: 1995), along with                                  In Chapter 3, I will propose a set of
psychosocial concerns. Sniderman et al                   objectives for media participation in public
(2000) argue for an integrated approach that             education initiatives to combat xenophobia. I
takes account of both instrumental and                   will argue that the role of media in countering
expressive aspects of xenophobic ideologies.             xenophobia is to promote and provide a forum
The components of ‘a properly rounded                    for national debate regarding national identity,
account of prejudice’ include three main areas           the nature of pluralism, a revised vocabulary
of consideration: the group basis of bias, co-           for discussing ‘race’ and ethnic minority
operation and conflict over interests, and               issues, and a human rights language that
psychological make-up and prejudice (ibid:61),           takes a moral and ethical stance to both rights
all of which will be considered, to varying              and obligations of inclusivity. An important
depths, in this report.                                  component of the media’s role is to generate
           In this report I will argue that public       understanding of the too often disregarded
education to combat xenophobia needs to take             psychological aspects of prejudice and
account of both the institutional framework and          vulnerability. Focussing on the British
the cognitive and affective aspects of                   newspaper media, I will argue that despite
xenophobia in order to build understanding of            considerable constraints, the press has a role
the range of factors contributing to xenophobic          to play in the promotion of a democratic public
ideologies. In Chapter 1 I will begin by briefly         sphere through the fulfilment of what Sparks
considering the role of identity politics and the        (1999) terms its ‘public enlightenment
nexus of ‘race’ and nation. This will highlight          function’. Despite scope for resistant
the ways processes of identity formation and             interpretations, it is indisputable that media

                                                     1
does influence audiences and there is                    which perceptions of belonging are held. I will
therefore a moral imperative for this capacity to        then examine the role of cognition and affect in
influence to be directed in the pursuit of a             the formation and support of xenophobic
broader consensus on the scope and limits of             ideologies.
social justice. The creation of greater
understanding of the dynamics of immigration             1.1     Identity Politics And The Nexus Of
and xenophobia can only contribute to such an            ‘Race’ And Nation:
objective.
          As a final point, any discussion that          Contemporary concerns in Europe over what
encompasses issues of ‘race’, ethnicity and              are perceived as high levels of immigration
identity is fraught with difficulty with regard to       have generated debate regarding entitlement
terminology. Much as I would like to contribute          to the collective goods of nation-states,
to the ‘policing and refurbishment’ that Carter          provoking for some a preoccupation with
et al (1996:135) advocate for the political              maintaining a distinction between ‘them’, who
constructs of ‘race’, nation and national identity       should be excluded from entitlement to
- plus several other concepts they do not                collective goods, and ‘us’, who are perceived
mention – I do not have space to expand on               as having a primordial right to share in such
the many understandings of such volatile and             goods. The exclusionary discourses
differently understood concepts. In addition to          frequently degenerate into xenophobia.
the contextual valence of such terms, the                         The complexity of the debate over
available vocabulary for discussing                      various understandings of ‘race’ and racism
immigration issues has severe shortcomings.              precludes a review of the various positions
Not only is ‘host population’ or ‘indigenous             here7. Suffice it to say that it is generally
society’ poorly suited to is usage (McGown               understood that the heterophobia manifest in
1999), but ‘minority’ increasingly is no longer          contemporary racism assumes the existence
an apt description of many immigrant                     of distinct ‘race’s with essential characteristics
communities, means very different things in              and a hierarchy of difference embodying
different contexts (Dummett 1998) and carries            higher and lower values (Wistrich 1999).
its own negative connotations (Brah 1996:186-            Despite the fact that racism is often expressed
190). Moreover, lack of clarity seems                    in terms of biology, it represents ‘a discourse
inevitable as muddle regarding terminology,              of naturalized social relations that deems
Dresch (1995:81) proclaims, is essential in              certain people to be degraded’ Schirmer
official public language.                                (1998:xx). Wimmer (1997) indicates that for
          A further complication lies in the fact        xenophobia, the ‘them’ and ‘us’ distinctions
that US scholarship has dominated studies of             draw on fears of inundation, phobias of
ethnicity and ‘race’, leading to the                     interbreeding and creolization and the
incorporation of unstated assumptions that are           ‘perception of a zero-sum game between
misleading when the terminology is transferred           foreigners and ‘ourselves’’.
to non-US contexts (Banton 1999)5. I therefore                    In recent times, cultural racism has
leave most of these terms undefined, but                 added to the dimensions of inequality that
acknowledge implicitly or overtly (as, for               were once assumed to rest on skin colour
example, in the use of ‘race’ in scare quotes)           (Alibhai Brown 2000). Whilst religious racism
the contested and socially constructed nature            of the early nineteenth century generally
of many of the terms used6.                              preceded biological racism, cultural racism
                                                         emerged as the preferred racist ideology in the
                                                         mid-twentieth century as imperial nations
                  CHAPTER 1                              sought to integrate the demands for equality
                                                         from national liberation and civil rights
 Understanding The Basis Of Xenophobia                   movements into a framework that would allow
                                                         the continued domination of (predominantly)
Theories attempting to explain the genesis of            Europeans (Blaut 1992)8. ‘Modernisation’ was
xenophobia and racism tend to draw on one or             envisaged as the vehicle for tutelage of
both of two principal groups of contributory             nations of the ‘Third World’ which were
factors – those described as instrumental and            considered to be potentially equal once their
those described as psychosocial. In so far as            cultural development ‘progressed’ to European
instrumental factors (being those pertaining to          levels (ibid). In many parts of the world, the
economic, political and social conditions) result        elision of ‘race’ and culture and of group and
                                                         individual are responsible for the discursive
from and are shaped by prevailing institutional
                                                         functioning of ethnicity much as ‘race’ once
conditions, these will be considered in Chapter
                                                         functioned in those contexts (Dresch 1995).
2. However, in this chapter I will consider
                                                         Beyond cultural racism, there have recently
aspects of the psychosocial genesis of
                                                         emerged a number of racist attitudes that deny
prejudice by considering, firstly, the question of
                                                         the continued salience of racism – phenomena
identity politics and the nexus of ‘race’ and
                                                         variously called ‘modern racism’ and ‘laissez-
nation as these issues provide the context in

                                                     2
faire racism’ (Goering 2000) or ‘new racism’                       Rejecting rational choice,
(Alibhai Brown 2000)9.                                   functionalism and discourse theory, Wimmer
          The outcome of racist ideologies is            (1997) argues that the phenomenological
racialization, wherein social relations are              approach offers a more productive explanatory
‘structured by the signification of cultural and         model, in combination with analysis of power
biological attributes in such a way as to define         strategies and interest policy. The
and construct differentiated social collectivities       phenomenological approach posits that
as ‘race’ collectivities’ (Carter et al 1996:136-        xenophobia and racism occur in situations of
7). Although such socially constructed                   society wide crisis of identity. There are
categories are largely illusory, they have               indications that people with little formal
‘undeniable potency’, particularly in times of           education are particularly prone to adopt
crisis (Penrose & Jackson 1993:203)10. The               xenophobic nationalism as a strategy for
dynamism and plurality of identities generates           making the distinction between ‘us’ and ‘them’
a politics of identity in which ‘difference’ is          in their quest to reduce complexity and
politicised ‘as groups and individuals become            anxiety11. Where group prestige is more
aware of their differences, attach significance          vulnerable as an effect of social and economic
to certain dimensions and contest the                    changes, dependence of that group on the
relevance of other designations’ (ibid:207).             resources of the nation-state is greater and
          Whilst there is agreement that racism          thus the greater is their reliance on national
and xenophobia have shown a marked                       solidarity. In such cases the presence of
increase in the last two decades, there is               immigrants engenders perceptions of
disagreement as to the basis for this. There is          ‘invasion, inundation and existential rivalry’
no doubt that structural factors related to              over limited future resources (ibid). Thus,
                                                         xenophobic discourse is to be understood as
population movements, increasing social
                                                         ‘appealing to the pact of solidarity into which
inequalities, structural unemployment, top-
                                                         the ethnicized bureaucracy and a national
level corruption and political changes play a
                                                         community have entered and which at times of
large part in generating the fear and instability
                                                         intensified social conflict seem fragile,
that foster ideologies of xenophobia.
                                                         especially from the viewpoint of those
Competition for jobs, housing and state                  threatened by loss of their social standing…[to
resources produce insecurity, most particularly          whom] the foreigner appears as an illegitimate
amongst those who perceive themselves to be              competitor …[It is] a political struggle about
in danger of being marginalised through                  who deserves the right to be cared for by the
competition from foreigners. However, in                 state and society: a fight for the collective
order to understand these ideologies                     goods of the state’ (ibid:32).
sufficiently well to generate initiatives to                       The salience of collective identity is
combat them, a more complex analysis of their            particularly marked in time of crisis. At such
genesis is necessary.                                    times, the social compact implicit in the nation-
          Wimmer (1997) cites the principal              state disintegrates, leaving room for the
explanatory theories for xenophobia and                  formation of social movements seeking to re-
racism as being those derived from rational              establish their own particular vision of the
choice, functionalism, discourse theory and              desired order (Wimmer 1997). Revitalization
phenomenological approaches. Very briefly,               of national solidarity is one of the principal
the rational choice model posits that under              objectives of such movements, often in the
conditions of competition people form                    face of a moral panic generated by
collectivities to maximise their potential for           perceptions of imminent chaos. In such
access to scarce resources; functionalist                contexts, the presence of immigrants and
approaches make the claim that cultural                  asylum seekers spawns xenophobic hatred
differences between groups are so large as to            and their advocates are seen as traitors to
create a barrier to integration; and discourse           national solidarity. ‘Popular’ direct action is
theory argues that discourses of exclusion and           then regarded as justified as ‘last stand’
self-empowerment are institutionalized by                defence of national integrity.
official and semi-official power holders, such                     Wimmer’s assertion is that the politics
as politicians and the media, in the process of          of identity and the politics of interests meet in
which immigrants are rendered responsible for            the politicization of cultural affiliations that go
their own exclusion and impoverishment. As               into the making of the nation-state12. Schirmer
Wimmer points out, neither rational choice nor           (1998) regards racism as both integral to
functionalism as explanatory models of racism            modernity and a function of collective
and xenophobia reveal what conditions lead to            identity13, both of which are predicated on the
perceptions of, in this instance, scarcity or            existence of ‘the nation’. However, being an
difference, nor, in the case of discourse theory,        abstract category, ‘nation’ is empirically empty
is an explanation forthcoming as to why the              from an individual perspective, which gives
relevant discursive practices are successful in          rise to the need for what Benedict Anderson
generating xenophobia.                                   has described as ‘imagined communities’.
                                                         Thus the nation is, at the same time, both

                                                     3
contingent and ‘a source of a sense of                   This latter aspect is founded on her assertion
belonging’ (Schirmer 1998:xix). Moreover, the            that, firstly, identity is constituted in interaction,
symbolic repertoire on which nationalism                 and that, secondly, the notion of ‘the other’ is
draws in the process of its ‘imagining’ invests          inherent in national identity and nationalism
the concept of nation with strong affective              and that therefore national identity is only
resonances, the violation of which (whether              meaningful in contrast to other nations.
perceived or actual) equate with violation of            ‘Significant others’ are those other nations or
the integrity of its individual members (ibid).          ethnic groups ‘that are perceived to threaten
Clearly, ascribed ‘race’ becomes a basis for             the nation, its distinctiveness, authenticity
exclusion where the notion of an equation                and/or independence’ (ibid:594). They may be
between territory and a particular group of              internal or external and may be viewed as a
people underlies the vision of the nation. This          minority or a majority group15. It is in periods
may leave those excluded in this process with            of instability and crisis, where either territorial
little alternative but to resort to ‘strategic           and symbolic boundaries are threatened or
essentialism’ by drawing on the ascribed                 social, political and economic upheavals
differences as a basis for resistance, thereby           question the basis of national identity, that
effectively endorsing the racist ideology                ‘significant others’ become a focus for
(Penrose & Jackson 1993).                                overcoming the crisis and for possible
           Racism shares several important               transformation to be in a better position to
characteristics with nationalism, including              respond to emotive and material concerns of
reliance on primordial factors, a taxonomy               members of the nation (ibid:603).
based on the rationale of homogeneity-
heterogeneity, and provision of ‘a cure for the          1.2 The Cognitive And Affective Bases Of
coldness of the disembedded existence of                 Xenophobia:
modern human beings’ (Schirmer 1998:xxi).
Nationalism often becomes racialized via the             As I have indicated above, notions of identity
naturalization of culture in an effort to                and belonging rely on perceptions of shared
‘strengthen its own homogeneity-heterogeneity            characteristics generated through processes of
rationale and to legitimate claims of superiority’       categorisation and response to sentiment. At
(ibid:xxii). There may be little apparent                a basic level, the interactive nature of identity
coherence in this transformation, but its logic is       presumes communication, which itself is
in the orientation it provides (ibid).                   founded in psychosocial processes of
           The relationship between a nation and         cognition and, as I will argue, of affect - without
how it deals with difference over time have              which cognitive processes are unsuccessful.
direct bearings on the development of national           Speculation as to the psychological basis of
identity and conditions of tolerance (Degler             prejudice was popular in the 1950s and 1960s,
1998). The way in which national identity is             but was then superceded by explanations
construed is also reflected in the way in which          based on more instrumental theories of group
immigration policies are formulated. Parekh              conflict and resource competition. However,
(1994) posits a three-fold typology of how               the current prevalence of xenophobia and the
modern states view themselves. In the liberal            inability to satisfactorily account for it within the
view ‘the state exists to create conditions in           confines of such instrumental theories has led
which its autonomous and self-determining                to a reconsideration of psychological theories.
citizens can freely pursue their self-chosen                       The CoE (Kaltenbach 2000:3), has
activities’ (ibid:93). The communitarian view,           recently highlighted the need to ‘get a better
on the other hand, assumes that members                  understanding of the phenomenon of racism,
have shared understandings and a common                  its philosophical and psychological bases’.
ethical life through which their lives are               Writing on anti-semitism, Wistrich (1999:6)
regulated and individual and collective identity         observes that the psychological dimension has
are defined. Similar to but distinct from the            often been overlooked in preference to ‘the
communitarian view, the ethnic or nationalist            supposedly more “objective” economic, social
views the state as a hereditary group of people          and political factors on the surface’ and warns
who, over time, have established kinship ‘ties           that ‘we cannot afford to ignore unconscious
of blood’ through notions of common                      factors and more hidden sources’ if we are to
‘forefathers’. Each has a different basis for            build a better understanding of prejudice.
qualification for state membership14.                    Sniderman et al (2000:5) argue for a synthesis
           Triandafyllidou (1998) extends the            of psychological and ‘objective’ approaches
discussion of national identity and its                  as relying only on the latter seems ‘to miss the
relationship to outsiders by the introduction of         distinctively irrational, emotional, and
the concept of ‘significant others’. She argues          expressive character of prejudice’. The
that national identity has two aspects – an              advantage of the study of prejudice and
inward looking self-consciousness and an                 personality is that it broadens the focus from
external focus that conditions national identity         relations between racial groups to the
according to the perceived characteristics               examination of ideological work carried out by
and/or claims of those defined as not national.
                                                     4
racializing groups (Wieviorka 1995) and the               increases in heart rate), behaviour aimed at
institutions they are able to hold sway over.             coping with the event that gives rise to the
          Before proceeding further, it is helpful        emotion, and the cognition (or thinking) that
to give a brief account of aspects of                     has gone into the evaluation of the event
psychological approaches to human                         (Cornelius 1996:10).
functioning in order to clarify the terms of this                  Although Oatley & Jenkins (1996)
discussion. A key development in the concern              claim that a consensus about the definition of
of the Western philosophical tradition with the           emotion17 is developing, it has proved an
nature of human mental activity was the idea              inordinately difficult concept to define, giving
that it consisted of three distinct and                   rise to much controversy. Whilst some have
complementary faculties – those of affect                 made the claim that emotion is not a
(feeling), cognition (knowing) and conation               substantive psychological category and
(willing) (Forgas 2000c)16. Our concern here is           therefore does not warrant separate
with affect and cognition. Cognition                      consideration, many others strive to develop
encompasses the so-called ‘rational’ thinking             greater understanding of its characteristics.
that depends on what are regarded as logical              Most students of emotion would, however,
inferences. Affect, however, is somewhat                  concur with Cornelius (1996:9) when he states
harder to define – and therefore requires                 that emotions are ‘complex, multifaceted
greater explanation - not least in view of the            phenomena’ giving rise to a range of
traditional bias towards ‘rationality’ as a               definitions that reflect not only the interests
‘proper’ basis for knowledge. Franks & Gecas              and methodological and theoretical
(1992:8) make the distinction between                     preferences of the psychologist concerned but
cognition as being concerned with ‘distanced              also the prevailing ‘movement’ dominating
thoughts’ that are hypothetical and transcend             psychology and the aspect of emotion under
actual events whereas emotion involves                    analysis.
thoughts that are ‘embedded in very personal                       Far from dismissing emotions as
concrete happenings’. For Wentworth & Ryan                impossible to quantify or study objectively, the
(1992:29) cognitive knowing is characterized              psychologist Nico Frijda has argued that they
by being literal and ‘attuned to detail and               display ‘empirical regularities’ that allow
sequences’ in an effort to ‘grasp the                     precise description (Frijda 1988 in Cornelius
“thingness” of the world’. In contrast,                   1996).18 Parkinson (1995:19) defines an
emotional knowing is ‘the quick…“seizing” of              emotion as ‘a relatively short-term, evaluative
the object of consciousness with fixity,                  state focused on a particular intentional object
certainty and without detail’ in order to ‘rapidly        (a person, an event, or a state of affairs).
assess, modulate and signal (in a felt emotion)           …Emotional reactions typically include many
the strength and qualities of one’s attachments           of the following four components: appraisal of
to the environment’. Frijda (1994:61) defines             the situation, bodily response, facial
affect as simply ‘pleasant or unpleasant                  expression, and changes in action readiness.
feeling’.                                                 None of these factors is completely necessary
          Popular understandings of emotion               for emotional experience, but it would be
tend to equate it with ‘feeling’ and to oppose it         implausible to describe as emotional any state
to thinking – thus the relation of cognition to           that included none of them’.
affect is equated with that of thinking to feeling.                Emotion is thus conceived of as a
However, in psychological terms, affect is                process, as a set of stages with particular
much more than emotion. It encompasses a                  consequences (Oatley & Jenkins 1996). Frijda
range of psychological states that include                (1986) understands emotion as a set of
emotions, emotion episodes, mood, sentiment,              mechanisms that evaluate stimuli in relation to
and, some would argue, temperament and                    the organism’s preferred endstates or
personality dispositions (Davidson & Ekman                outcomes and that dictate and control
1994). These phenomena differ along a                     appropriate actions according to these
number of dimensions, such as duration (that              preferences. Similarly, Oatley & Jenkins
is, an acute process such as an emotion or an             (1996) regard emotion as the effect of a
enduring disposition such as a mood), intensity           conscious or unconscious evaluation of an
and diffusion (Forgas 2000c), origin and                  event as relevant to a desired goal and as a
whether they refer ‘to a particular object or to a        device that controls readiness to act. The
more general or undefined class of objects’               experience of emotion is ‘as a distinctive type
(Frijda 1994:59). Forgas (2000b) argues that              of mental state, sometimes accompanied or
although mood and emotion both affect social              followed by bodily changes, expressions,
cognition, the way that they do so is different.          [and/or] actions’ (ibid:96). Thus, evaluation
Moreover, in the domain of psychology,                    and interpretation of the personal significance
emotions are more than feelings. Beyond                   of events are the principal determinants of
subjective experience, the scope of emotion               emotion (Parkinson 1995:16). Expressive and
includes expressive reactions (such as smiles,            physiological reactions, along with motivated
frowns), physiological reactions (such as tears,          behaviour, indicate readiness for action, and

                                                      5
consciousness of these responses to the                     that these prototypes are ‘a micro-concept of
appraisal process contribute to the subjective              social structure, describing relational and
feeling (ibid:17). In fact it is the change in              interactional patterns that are typical and
readiness for action that is regarded by some               stable’. Thus, situated identities (such as
as the necessary condition of an emotion                    those of ‘physician’ or ‘femaleness’) are
(Oatley & Jenkins 1996). For Frijda (1986:474)              ascribed ‘an interactionally appropriate
the central features of emotional behaviour is              emotional character…as part of the overall
the conversion of ‘fixed action patterns’ into              distribution of knowledge by differentiated
‘multifaceted, flexible programs that can be                social structure’ (Wentworth & Ryan 1992:35).
inhibited and held in abeyance’. Emotional                  However, it is a mistake to assume that
behaviour is, therefore, distinctive from                   individuals have no agency in the way in which
‘instinctive’ behaviour, over which there is not            emotions are expressed. Whilst society may
the range of control possible of emotional                  provide the public moralities that define
responses. Another feature of emotion is ‘the               appropriate expression of emotion, the
preponderance of short-term over long-term                  individual’s biographical self plays a role in
gain’ (Frijda 1986:476). Ultimately, the function           deciding the degree to which personal agency
of emotion is ‘concern satisfaction’ (Frijda                will be exercised in deviating from the
1986) through the monitoring of events and the              normative prototypes of emotion behaviour
control of requisite action. This may or may                (ibid).
not entail the influencing of cognition (Ekman &                     Speculation on the relationship
Davidson 1994). Some emotion (such as                       between cognition and affect is divided
infatuation, bitterness and nostalgia) are                  between the view that affect is disruptive to
apparently non-functional However, their                    effective thinking and behaviour and the view
value lies in the fact that they, like all emotions,        that ‘openness to feelings is a useful, and even
‘reflect and “express” what the individual is               necessary, adjunct to rationality and to
concerned with’ (Frijda 1986:478).                          effective social thinking’ (Forgas 2000c:1).
          A cautionary reminder is in order here            Despite the fact that the popular ‘common
regarding the cultural specificity of evaluations           sense’ view opposes emotion to rational
of emotion functionality. Franks & Gecas                    considered thought21, much of contemporary
(1992:5) draw attention to ‘the conceptual                  psychological theory holds that emotional
baggage embedded in a peculiarly Western                    feelings about a particular object or event are
notion of emotion’ that is built upon a particular          crucially dependent upon the cognitive
view of the nature of individual experience and             processes of evaluation and interpretation
on a set of dichotomies of suspect intellectual             (Parkinson 1995:18). There is thus
pedigree. In particular, as White (1993:31)                 considerable debate as to how, if at all, a
contends, tacit assumptions about emotions in               distinction can be made between cognition and
the Western canon work to naturalize and                    affect. Franks & Gecas (1992:8) note that
universalize emotions through a bifurcation of              affect and cognition, as inherently social
human experience (into bodily affect and                    processes, are increasingly recognised as
‘higher’ mental processes), elaborated by                   ‘inextricably bound together [as a]ll emotion is
‘networks of dualistic propositions that frame              involved with thought and all thought has some
experience in dichotomous terms’19.                         affect’. In fact, it is argued that thought without
          In this respect, it is important to bear in       affect amounts to a pathological condition
mind that the expression of all but ‘basic’                 (Seeburger 1992). The relationship between
emotions are learned and patterned according                affect and cognition is understood as
to socially defined norms20. As Denzin                      ‘fundamentally an interactive one’- it is
(1990:90) puts it, the expression of emotion is             complex, context sensitive and ‘clearly
a ‘relational phenomenon’ in that it ‘is shaped             bidirectional’ (Forgas 2000b:389,400). Though
by the ensemble of social relationships that                an abstract distinction can be made between
bind human beings to one another’. Gordon                   them, neither can be purified of the other
(1990) attributes to ‘emotional culture’ specific           (Seeburger 1992).
emotion vocabularies, the norms that regulate                        Given that emotions ‘serve important
expression and feeling and the beliefs about                functions having to do with how we get along
emotions. These features of emotional culture               in the world’ (Cornelius 1996:10) they need to
articulate with the macro-level of social                   be taken seriously by those aiming to build
structure through microsocial interpersonal ties            understanding of inter-group relations. The
– it is therefore evident that the relationship of          ‘process of being emotional’ states Denzin
emotions to social structure is one of                      (1984:3) ‘locates the person in the world of
bidirectional influence (ibid). The prototypes              social interaction…for emotions are felt in
(or typical examples) that are culturally                   relation to other interactants’, to the extent that
established as the norms for emotional                      ‘[a] person cannot experience an emotion
behaviour become scripts which guide the                    without the implicit or imagined presence of
acceptable expression of emotion (Oatley &                  others’. Clark (1990) cogently illustrates the
Jenkins 1996). Gordon (1990:155-6) argues                   important role of emotions in the micropolitics

                                                        6
of hierarchy creation and negotiation. A range            fact, to transcend the pernicious binary
of micropolitical strategies rely on emotions,            oppositions such as those that arise in racist
she claims, to both mark and claim place in               categorisation would mean abolishing thinking
status hierarchies. These strategies may draw             altogether for ‘categorization is to the mind
on the use of the actor’s own emotions or they            what breathing is to the body’ (ibid:122).
may be designed to elicit particular emotions                       Although categorisation is a
from others.                                              fundamental basis of human action, the
          Contemporary sociology of emotions              problem arises when categorisations become
tends to be dominated by the social                       rigidified into stereotypes23. Stereotypes are a
constructionist perspective. As Wentorth and              form of social control that justify oppressive
Ryan (1992) explain, this position holds that             patterns of prejudice, often inflicting psychic
‘emotions function as social definitions’.                devastation on the communities of which the
Norms of emotion expression define morality               stereotype is a caricature (Shohat & Stam
in terms of the sentiments attaching to notions           1994:198)24. Stereotyping relies on an
such as obligation, respect and conscience. It            essentialism that generates ahistoricism. It
is in society’s interest to maintain social control       fundamentally conflicts with the notion that
through the regulation of emotions and it is in           identities are ‘multiple, unstable, historically
the interests of individuals to practise                  situated, [and] the products of ongoing
emotion-management to negotiate social                    differentiation’ (ibid:49). Stereotypes sustain
reality. It is thus that emotion becomes                  the perception of invariable characteristics of a
inextricably bound up with power22. As the                particular group membership, such beliefs
authors point out, actors, situations and                 being ‘accompanied and sustained by negative
organizations ‘that can evoke, manage and                 affect’, even in those cases where the
coordinate emotion can, by controlling the                stereotype is positive (Schul & Zukier
content of reality, create the propensity for             1999:33). In situations of imperfect information,
certain actions and the inhibition of others’             stereotypes act as discriminatory guidelines,
(ibid:39-40). It is in the course of                      particularly in the pragmatic discriminatory
communicating that emotions become                        practices aimed at human survival that
validated and emotional meaning is                        naturally draw on categories of ‘race’ and
externalized to become evocative and socially             ethnicity as an extension of nepotistic
persuasive (White 1993:36). The view of                   concerns (van den Berghe 1997). Most
emotions as a resource and as a source of                 importantly, stereotypic beliefs, as causal
social power in intersubjectivity provides                theories, are particularly resistant to change
potentially useful insight into the nature and            (Schul & Zukier 1999:34)25.
practice of xenophobia and racism. Crucially,                       Although a potential consequence of
affect ‘is intimately involved in how social              stereotypical beliefs is prejudicial action, this
information is cognitively represented, and               relationship is not unidirectional as it may also
plays a key role in the way attitudes,                    be that prejudicial action is subsequently
stereotypes, and self-concept are organized’              justified on the basis stereotypical beliefs.
(Forgas 2000a:xv).                                        Evidence is manufactured to create a ‘reality’
          This discussion of cognition and affect         that supports stereotypic thinking to the point
and their role in human functioning provides a            where ‘almost any behaviour can be
basis for the consideration of cognitive and              interpreted in line with a stereotype’,
affective bases of xenophobia. Despite the                particularly where restricted observation
fact that there is little evidence to support             contexts produce biased samples of behaviour
making a rigid distinction between cognition              patterns (Schul & Zukier 1999:35)26. Moreover,
and affect, I will for convenience now call on            groups who are the targets of stereotypic
the possibility of making an abstract distinction         beliefs may internalise the characteristics and
between them in order to consider, in turn,               behaviour expectations attributed to them, thus
what role cognition and affect play in the                imposing ‘a sense of order and coherence on
genesis and maintenance of xenophobic and                 the world at the expense of accuracy’ (ibid:34).
racist beliefs.                                                     It is not always, however, difference
                                                          that motivates stereotypes. Lack of otherness
1.2.1. Cognition: Categorisation And                      attributable to a group identified as different
Stereotypes:                                              may threaten group integrity through its
                                                          potential to blur boundaries between the
Categorisation, taxonomic systems and binary              groups (Schirmer 1998). Research has
oppositions are natural cognitive processes of            indicated that ‘the strongest competition
organization and discrimination aimed at                  between two groups may be expected to occur
reducing chaos, misunderstanding and                      where in reality there is the least reason to
unpredictability (van den Berghe 1997).                   distinguish one group from the other’
Category definition stipulates the minimum                (Triandafyllidou 1998:600). In such a situation,
qualities for membership and often establishes            heterogeneity may be created in order to
a hierarchy of differences (Zukier 1999). In              restore a threatened identity (ibid). Sniderman

                                                      7
et al (2000) observe that the classic                     outside the context of its expression and looks
understanding of Eurocentrism as being a                  rather to socialization as origin (Wieviorka
relationship between ingroup affiliation and              1995). It is useful to note, in passing, that it
outgroup hostility does not necessarily hold as           has been suggested that a generalised distrust
their findings suggest that outgroup hostility is         of other people is correlated with distrust in the
accompanied by ingroup hostility, particularly            political institutions and organizations of
where there is a generalised high intolerance             pluralist democracies (Dogan 1997).
of diversity.                                                       There are a number of obstacles to
          What is important to understand about           accepting emotion as a factor in the genesis of
the nature of stereotypic beliefs is that they are        xenophobic beliefs. In the first place, as I have
motivated by the need for justification, whereas          already discussed in section 1.2, it is difficult to
other less pernicious forms of categorisation             define the concept ‘emotion’ beyond the
are most likely to be motivated by the need for           somewhat nebulous statement that it is
accuracy and truth (Schul & Zukier 1999). The             ‘feeling’ (as opposed to ‘thinking’). Beyond
scapegoating that goes into stereotypic beliefs           this, there is debate as to whether it can be
exonerates wrongdoing on the part of the                  held that there are certain universal emotional
holder of such beliefs (Befu 1999).                       states common to all humankind or whether all
Scapegoating is both a means of exorcising                affective states are culturally conditioned
guilt and of defining social, religious and               (Wierzbicka 1995) and whether the concerns
national identity. through the construction of a          about ‘emotion’ represent a peculiarly Western
moral order ‘against the dangerous disruptive,            way of understanding – to the extent that
defiling Other’ (Wistrich 1999:8). Although the           emotion now stands as ‘a master concept of
spatial scale of that which is considered                 Western culture’ (Franks & Gecas 1992).
‘inside’ is frequently the nation, it is                  Additionally, theories of the self fall into two
contextually flexible such that it may also, for          principal categories: either social organisation
example, be confined to a single village or               is based on the notion that the self is
ethnic group (Befu 1999).                                 independent from others, or it is seen as
                                                          based on interdependence among group
1.2.2. Affect:                                            members (Kitayama et al 1995). A further
                                                          difficulty arises in the ‘Janus-faced character of
Whilst cognitive approaches that theorise the             emotions’, wherein they can be viewed both
process of stereotyping provide important                 negatively as a biasing source of error in
insights into xenophobic belief systems, they             instrumental contexts and positively as
are not sufficient in the explanation of                  essential to the maintenance of social systems
psychological processes. Cognitive                        (Franks & Gecas 1992). Finally, there remains
categorization, after all, is significantly derived       a series of dichotomies that place emotion as
from affect (Forgas 2000b), through which it is           an inferior knowledge system by drawing on
energized (Schul & Zukier 1999). Sniderman                Manichean mind:body distinctions, such as
et al (2000) argue that though useful, the                that of objective:subjective, rational:irrational,
concentration on prejudice as a cognitive                 and so on.
process is constraining with respect to                             Despite these objections, I have
understanding of both causes and                          argued elsewhere that emotive-aesthetic
consequences of prejudice. It is the                      reasoning should be understood as a
persistence of negative affect in stereotyping,           legitimate basis of knowledge (Igglesden
rather than the cognitive content of                      2000). Feelings are a primary frame of
stereotypes, that is the key to understanding             reference for cognition, such that aspects of
prejudice. Categorization is ‘a pivotal process           emotion are ‘indispensable for rationality’
for prejudice’ but not a necessary condition.             (Damasio 1996:xv). Forgas (2000) reports
They argue that there are two crucial                     that there is a ‘growing consensus that
mediators that affect prejudice by increasing             affective responses are a useful and even
categorization. These are the assessment of               essential means of dealing with the social
instrumental calculations and an expressive               environment’. There is also evidence that
element that manifests as ‘a readiness to                 underlying emotional capacities give rise to
suspect and dislike other people in general’              fundamental ethical stances.
(ibid:80, 81). The expressive element reflects                      Emotional experience is a complex
a personality-oriented approach that holds that           phenomenon that results from a ‘reciprocal
a cluster of fundamental core values, labelled            interplay of individual agency, biology,
‘authority values’27, predispose the holder to            biography and society’ (Franks & Gecas
particular concerns. The result is that such a            1992:13). The anthropological approach to
person displays both a lack of sympathy with              emotion as culturally constituted understands
the values of compassion and empathy and an               emotion as ‘a kind of language of the self – a
‘insistence on strictness, sacrifice and                  code for statements about intentions, actions,
authority’ (ibid:115). The value of this kind of          and social relations’ and as the ‘primary idiom
approach is that it places the origin of racism           for defining and negotiating social relations of

                                                      8
the self in a moral order’ (Lutz &                        potentially productive frameworks that rely on
White1986:417)28. Emotion talk is a discursive            the notion of abjection and the transfer of
practice concerned with issues of sociability             negative emotions about the ‘I’/’us’ onto a
and power. As an interactional discourse,                 ‘you’/’them’, thereby creating a vehicle of
emotion language is intimately involved in the            absolution for the ‘I’/’us’. Drawing on Kleinian
politics of everyday life through its deployment          object relations theory, notions of the
to ‘establish, assert, challenge, or reinforce            development of a sense of personal border
power or status differences’ and to negotiate             and vulnerability to external threat suggest
solidarity (Abu-Lughod & Lutz 1990:14).                   possible outcomes that range from the ability
Ultimately, emotion talk is commentary and                to embrace difference as a pleasurable
judgement on ‘the practices essential to social           experience of merging to, at the other extreme,
relations’ in the form of ‘socially contested             the rejection of difference as a threat to the
evaluations of the world’ (ibid:19, 11).                  integrity of the self. The development and the
Moreover, culture and social organization are             nature of the sense of personal border is, of
dialectically related to emotional experience,            course, an ongoing process that is a
each playing a part in shaping the other                  consequence ‘of relating to others and
(Franks & Gecas 1992). Discourses on                      becoming a part of a culture’ (Sibley 1995:7).
emotion are embedded in culturally defined                         Kristeva suggests that the permanent
understandings of identities (White 1990:47).             presence of the abject – some ‘thing’ that is
         The importance of including emotion in           both beyond and yet part of the subject –
an explanation of xenophobia rests on the                 poses a threat to apparent unities and gives
general observation that people’s feelings are            rise to an anxiety ‘to expel or distance from the
important for their effect on social interaction,         abject other as a condition of existence’,
particularly where oppression takes place                 whether that abject other be other cultures or
                                                                                              29
(Sibley 1995). Affect is especially pertinent,            matter out of place (Sibley 1995) . In
Forgas (2000) argues, in the process of                   Kristeva’s (1991:20) concern with the
anticipation of future events where judgement             predicament of ‘the foreigner’30, she declares
is necessary to cope with uncertainty and                 that the habit of suspicion ‘provokes regressive
unpredictability. Rather than the emphasis on             and protectionist rage’ that seeks to expel the
the social construction of emotions, which                intruder or, at least, to oppress. She considers
tends to assume a ‘passivity in the guise of              that ‘an invader reveals a buried passion within
non-dialectical emotion-as-consequence’,                  those who are entrenched: the passion to kill
Wentworth & Ryan (1992) point out that felt               the other, who had first been feared or
emotions are self-constructed, arising in the             despised, then promoted from the ranks of
biological self ‘and from the tension between             dregs to the status of powerful persecutor
self and circumstances’. They thus signal the             against whom a ‘we’ solidifies in order to take
relation of the self to the world, placed on a            revenge’ (ibid).
continuum between identification and                               A Jungian perspective uses the
alienation. Xenophobia, from a psychoanalytic             concept of ‘the shadow’, representing that part
perspective that focuses on the emotions,                 of the psyche wherein dwell unrecognised
reflects an incapacity to manage difference as            desires and repressed aspects of the
well as, as already noted, incapacity ‘to cope            personality (Gross 2000). Individuals or
with the resemblance with the Other’                      collectives seek to free themselves from the
(Wieviorka 1995:23).                                      undesirable, unpalatable aspects of the self
         Central to the question of feelings              which have yet to be integrated into the
about others is the construction of the self              individual or group consciousness by
(Sibley 1995). Feelings about others are                  projecting them into the ‘not-I’ or ‘not-us’ (ibid).
intimately bound up with concern about the                Shadow projections are made onto a
moral order and it is the morality of the self that       scapegoat in times of crisis. Gross states that‘
is used in judgement of the ‘Other’ deemed not            [w]hen one’s sense of identity either as an
to be partisan to the same moral order (Befu              individual or as part of a collective is seriously
1999). In effect, the self is reflected in the            challenged, then a certain psychic dynamic
Other in so far as selected ‘bad’ aspects of the          becomes constellated whereby the conscious
self, with their ‘repressed sadistic impulses’,           mind, threatened as it feels itself to be from
become embodied in the ‘bad’ Other, thus                  without, but really unable to tolerate the
displacing evil from the                                  powerfully activated internal shadow content,
inside to the outside (ibid:27). Where the Self           must now urgently find a way of ejecting these
is the nation, demonizing the Other ‘appeals to           unwelcome and unmanageable affects, and so
group narcissism while reinforcing nationalist            expels them, into a suitable other’ (ibid:80).
sentiments’ (ibid:28)                                              Stevenson (1999:138) argues that
         Whilst there is not space to attempt a           psychonanalytic frames can generate
comprehensive review of theories of emotion               understanding of the ‘irrational fears and
and xenophobia, there are a number of                     anxieties that inevitably accompany racist

                                                      9
thinking’ by the ‘introduction of concepts of             In this chapter I will argue that, in practice, the
psychic splitting, lack and projection’ and that          relationship between xenophobia and
Klienian psychoanalytic theories (amongst                 institutional factors (in the form of legislation,
others) have ‘much to offer a contemporary                immigration policy and political culture) is a
understanding of racist discourse in the                  circular one. As much as policy and political
context of modern popular culture’. However,              rhetoric may intend to reduce the grounds for
Hauke (2000:62-4) maintains that for all its              development of discriminatory ideologies, it is
attractions, object relations theory is                   frequently the case that the assumptions within
incomplete and, as others have pointed out,               which these are framed serve rather to
has a number of important biases built into it.           increase prejudice. In effect, state
Nonetheless, it seems to offer some promise               interventions with regard to immigration and
as a starting point for further enquiry into the          anti-immigration sentiment are more often than
affective basis of xenophobic beliefs. It                 not, particularly in the case of Britain, reactive
provides some insight into the tendency, in               rather than proactive. The result is
Western societes at least, to a ‘robust and               incoherence and contradiction, which not only
pervasive tendency to maintain and enhance                allows the evolution of a range of conflicting
self-esteem’31 (Kitayama et al 1995:523),                 discourses regarding the presence of
whether as an individual or a collective effort.          foreigners but also makes the formulation of
         Individual emotional responses                   an effective public education policy to counter
become particularly powerful when they are                xenophobia and racism particularly difficult.
manipulated by actors and organizations who               Policy has, on the whole, taken little account of
                                                          the nature of xenophobia, and not infrequently
have the social power to evoke, manage and
                                                          simply ignores its existence. In the light of
co-ordinate emotions. Given that emotional
                                                          these difficulties I will propose a number of
experience and the expression of affect are
                                                          objectives for policy responses.
aspects of identity, particularly in relation to a
sense of belonging (Rew & Campbell 1999)32,
                                                          2.1 Institutions Of The State: Legislation,
there is enormous scope for powerful actors to
                                                          Immigration Policy And Political Culture
‘create the propensity for certain actions and
the inhibition of others’ through the control of
                                                          Richmond (1994:220) observes three
the content of reality (Wentworth & Ryan                  contradictory and incompatible trends in the
1992:40). Rew & Campbell (ibid:13) state that             ‘new world order’ that have ‘significant
‘[b]ecause of the subjective, experiential                implications for international migration and
dimension of identity, effective identity                 ethnic relations within a rapidly changing world
narratives such as those deployed by (ethnic)             system’. Firstly, in the pragmatic scenario
nationalism are exercises in the mobilisation of          majority groups seek to maintain the existing
emotion through a selective drawing upon                  distribution of political and economic power,
affective elements, for example a contextually            which leads to a ‘fortress mentality’
defined sense of exclusion, fear and anxiety              preoccupation with issues of security and
vis-à-vis significant Others’.                            border controls. Secondly, in the nostalgic
                                                          view, the goal is to protect a real or imagined
                                                          tradition of cultural values from perceived
1.3     Conclusion:                                       threat from globalization through separation
                                                          and exclusion of ‘Others’. Finally, the utopian
The complexity of the relation between notions            view has an ecological slant that seeks to
of national belonging and ‘race’ are clearly              ensure the survival of human (and other)
important in building understanding of                    species through emancipation and
xenophobia. In this Chapter I have argued that            empowerment, expressed in a concern with
both cognition and affect play a crucial role in          the full implementation of existing human rights
the creation of distinctions between those who            conventions in migration policies. However,
‘belong’ and those who do not. The                        despite the apparent promise of this latter
implication, therefore, for effective policies to         approach, Richmond sees little positive
combat xenophobia is that they must take                  outcome for any of these scenarios (see Table
account of the cognitive and affective bases of           1.1). In effect, immigration policies often draw
prejudice and seek, moreover, to generate                 on aspects of each of these three different
greater understanding of these complex and                outlooks, as is the case, for example, of
potent bases of knowledge construction.                   legislation and immigration policy in Britain,
                  CHAPTER 2                               thereby contributing to their characteristic
                                                          incoherence and contradiction.
Institutional Factors In The Generation Of
Xenophobia And Policy Responses

Table 1.1:               New World Order: Alternative Scenarios

                                                     10
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