Migration and the “Other”

Emma C

The readings this week discuss the ideas of immigration and the idea of the “other” and how ideas about these can change depending on demographic and geography. The far-rights ideas about immigration are still relevant today. As we have discussed previously the way in which these groups build their support is around the idea of nationalism. 1989 and onwards there was an increase in immigration in Europe, making populations more diverse. Far-right groups were able to use the increase in immigration to garner more support for their cause through “othering” immigrants.

The idea of the other is still seen today as far-right groups have strict ideas around migration, typically known for not supporting it. Limiting migration assists these group in building a stronger sense of nationalism and there are less foreigners entering their country and not taking the focus away from the national culture. The “other” was a tactic used in the us versus them attitude in regard to migration where if you are not born in the country or have roots there, you are considered an “other”, an outsider. Groups feel that democratic liberal institutions and ideas around migration are harming their country as the increase in diversity of the population, harms a country’s national identity.

Anna Cento Bull, “The role of memory in populist discourse: the case of the Italian Second Republic” Patterns of Prejudice, 50:3 (2016): 213-231

Christopher Molnar, “Greetings from the Apocalypse”: Race, Migration, and Fear after German Reunification” Central European History, (2021), 1-25.

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