Migrations: Fraternity and Xenophobia in the Cosmopolitan Society written by the Brazilian scholar Bárbara Simões seeks to understand the paradox between the concept of “fraternity” and “xenophobia” in countries hosting foreigners who had been forcibly displaced. Published in 2018 by the journal Em Tempo, the article observes that violence against immigrants has been growing gradually despite the existence of mechanisms to receive these individuals.


According to the article, xenophobia has gained increasing prominence in social media. The International Organization for Migration (IMO) defines xenophobia as a kind of intolerance in which the individual is rejected, excluded or diminished on the basis of his or her nationality. Fraternity is understood by Barbara as one of the products of the French Revolution (freedom, equality, and fraternity), being an affective bond of solidarity with another person, in this case, the migrant.


The study raises the hypothesis that the increase in violence against foreigners may be related to the increase in the number of migrations. The number of people who leave their homes grows every day. The text points out the fact that people migrate for a number of reasons: violence, discrimination, natural disasters or even their own choice. However, the main reason for migration seems to be related to violent conflicts. According to UNHCR data, in 2017 68.5 million people had to leave their homes because of acts of violence and conflict in their countries of origin.


The author stresses that in order to develop adequate reception policies for immigrants, it is necessary to correctly understand migratory flows to differentiate voluntary migrations from compulsory ones. Moreover, the article highlights that there are issues regarding state policies that do not address migration as a human right, generating and fueling prejudice, discrimination, and xenophobia.


“Borders can be a means of inclusion, but also exclusion of territorial portions and people since outside the limits of the state is the other, the alien, the one who does not belong to public life because it is different. Xenophobic attitudes arise due to this fear of the unknown” – points out Barbara.


The article ends with a proposal to combat xenophobia. The author believes fraternity may be a good tool to build bridges, not walls. Thus, differences can be more easily understood, integrated and respected rather than being perceived as a threat.


For more information, access: https://revista.univem.edu.br/emtempo/article/view/2616


By Vanessa Medeiros (Brazil/UFRJ)