Xenophobia or Zenophobia – What Does It Mean ? It is Definitely Not an Igbo Man in South Africa ! Wazobia and find out !

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On a lighter note

*A guy asked one of d looters in the shoprite store at Lekki why he was doing that…. The guy replied, “Dem kill xenophobia, one of our igbo brothers for South…”*???

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People also ask
What does Zenophobic mean?
Definition of xenophobia. : fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign.
Xenophobia | Definition of Xenophobia by Merriam-Webster

https://www.merriam-webster.com › dictionary › xenophobia
Search for: What does Zenophobic mean?
What is your understanding of xenophobia?
Xenophobia means having a PHOBIC ATTITUDE towards strangers or the unknown. It comes from the Greek words (xenos), meaning foreigner/stranger, and (phobos), meaning fear. … Xenophobia implies a belief, whether accurate or not, that the subject/target is in some way foreign.

How many of us truly understand this concept? What exactly does xenophobia mean?


Xenophobia means having a PHOBIC ATTITUDE towards strangers or the unknown. It comes from the Greek words (xenos), meaning foreigner/stranger, and (phobos), meaning fear. This term is widely used to describe the dislike of foreigners or people who are different to oneself.

Oddly enough, racism has been likened to a form of xenophobia but racism has nothing to do with a real phobia. Xenophobia implies a belief, whether accurate or not, that the subject/target is in some way foreign. On the opposite side of the coin we have the term xenophilia which is an attraction to or love for foreigners.

Now that we have a basic understanding of this term which has become a buzz word lately, let us look at some of the assumptions surrounding this term.

It is assumed that xenophobia is a rather uncontrollable affective reaction of people who in specific social situations are confronted with foreign objects or persons. It is this reaction that leads us to believe that xenophobia must constitute a kind of emotion. This emotion is to be realized whenever unknown persons, events or objects appear or approach and lead to some kind of defensive mobilisation and even a readiness of an offensive attack. In our social system, xenophobic reactions could reflect a fear of loss. This fear concerns social status, the message of rights and privileges as well as the allocation and the access of scarce resources. When we look at these assumptions, it is in this sense that we can conclude that xenophobia includes two components, an anthropological and a social one.

The central assumption concerning the anthropological component is the segregation of the ‘inside’ and the ‘outside’. This segregation has two aspects: a subjective psychological and a objective geographical one.

The subjective psychological aspect concerns familiarity. People tend to establish a familiar world around themselves right from when they begin their lives. They integrate into their external environment, become acquainted to it and internalise it. By doing this they exert more control over their world. They begin to learn which people in which positions belong to their social environment; they learn the meaning of symbols, what kind of behaviour might be expected and which events are to be predicted. This familiar environment is a small world which is taken for granted. It becomes a place of safety and comfort.

The other aspect is the subjective geographical one. Territoriality is a main aspect of modern states (Heckmann, 1988 ; Reiterer, 1991). Hence, there has been a struggle about territorial boundaries worldwide. The word “boundary” in its spatial sense describes the extreme parts of a territory which is determined by its name. It is difficult to describe boundaries without reference to spaces, that are divided, and a space is not to be determined without reference to its environment.

So how does this connect to political power?

To separate and divide geographical spaces in the sense of different ethnic regions or national territories always imply acts of power, and boundaries are the result of a conflict between internal and external forces.

It is this aspect of power that forms the basis of the negative, more repulsive meaning of the word “boundary”. Boundaries obstruct a free exchange of people, ideas and goods. However boundaries also have positive meaning.  Boundaries protect the members of a social system against the endless enthusiasm of the scarce resource of territory and thus are a basis of peace. To guard peace is the duty of the sovereign, whose competence is always limited in space.

This primary idea of a limited space is the central one concerning xenophobia. If we consider the people of SA as the ‘insiders’, then we can notice that over the years there has always been a fear of a territorial hunger of the ‘outsiders’, of their eagerness and readiness for a violent occupation of one’s own territory. Corresponding to this fear there is the fear of an acute invasion or a silent infiltration.

Now it becomes easier to see that xenophobia, as an anthropological constant will appear:

1. when the boundaries of the geographical and political system are trespassed and the territory of a social unit is menaced.

2. when the boundaries of the familiar world are infringed.

Therefore, foreign events, objects and persons which enter a familiar system defined as a limited space and a political entity, will be seen to have dangerous potential. That is why foreigners bring out some kind of affective reaction like anxiety leading to opposition, mystification and sometimes even hostility and attack.

By no means does this justify any actions being taken in South Africa over the past few weeks but this is to rather give us a better understanding of WHY this could be happening. I felt an urge to draw on this understanding , after speaking to many people on the issue of xenophobia, it became clear that some people did not actually understand the concept. South Africa is filled with history and if I had to look at the sociological and political aspects, and then the psychological effects of this history, I would have a to write a book containing each of these aspects. This is just written very briefly to help us understand before we move forward. No solution can come if you do not understand the problem.

Understanding the problem first extends to other aspects of our lives as well. At Lifepysche we strive to help you make sense of your world, whatever may be happening in it, you can manage it effectively.


Examples of Xenophobia. The term xenophobia refers to the fear of that which is different, foreign, or strange. Xenophobia is an irrational and unreasoned fear. The origin of the word comes from the Greek for “fear,” “phobos” and the Greek for “stranger,” “xenos.”
Does xenophobia come from Xenophon?
What is the relationship between the Greek historian Xenophon and the word xenophobia? None. The only connection between Xenophon and xenophobia is that his name happens to contain one of the words that make up the word xenophobia, xeno which is Greek for foreign/strange.Jul 16, 2018
What is the relationship between the Greek historian Xenophon and …

What is a xenophobe afraid of?
Getting a job as a greeter with the United Nations is probably not the best career option for someone who suffers from xenophobia, a fear of foreigners or strangers. Xenophobia has its roots in fear — literally. Phobia comes from the Greek word meaning “fear.” … In the case of xenophobia, the fear is irrational.
xenophobia – Dictionary Definition : Vocabulary.com

https://www.vocabulary.com › dictionary › xenophobia
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What is Isxenophobia?
Xenophobia, simply put, is the fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers; it is embodied in discriminatory attitudes and behaviour, and often culminates in violence, abuses of all types, and exhibitions of hatred.

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