n IFE PsychologIA : An International Journal - A panoramic historical discourse on xenophobia

Volume 16, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1117-1421



The last few months in South Africa have witnessed a worrying phenomenon of unprovoked attacks on black foreigners by poor South Africans. The ostensible reasons for these attacks are that the foreigners are responsible for the rising wave of crime particularly in the favelas around the industrial and financial city of Johannesburg. These attacks have also spread to other poor areas surrounding the major cities of South Africa. These attacks have led to questions being asked about precedences or historical examples in other parts of the world for these kind of attacks. Examples abound in almost all continents of the world about this phenomenon rooted in fear of and hatred for foreigners or people considered different from one's own kind. The English philosopher, Thomas Hobbes had once said man and fear are twins and in craving for security man would kill in a war of all against all if there was no powerful sovereign to assure him of his safety. In other words fear is innate in man.

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