Emotions in daily life interaction with migrants and their influence on xenophobia among adolescents
In order to comprehensively understand the phenomenon of xenophobia, more than just an analysis of the objective components, such as the social and material circumstances and attitudinal concepts (authoritarianism), is needed. Further, the explanatory model of emotions, which are encountered through the interaction with strangers, can provide a deeper insight into the subject matter. Emotions reflect the subjective view and interpretation of events by a person and express that something is of importance to the individual. Furthermore, emotions accompany and motivate human cognition and behavior.
Being aware of emotions that relate to migrants can thus aid in understanding in which way specific issues that concern migrants can be subjectively relevant, which implications they can have for a person on his or her personal and social identity, and how attitudes and behaviors toward migrants are formed.
Ethnic minorities can be thematized in several ways and fields, so there exist different contexts in which emotions can arouse. The focus of my study evolves around the interest of emotions that arise through the daily interactions between migrants and German adolescents, and the question of how these emotions can affect attitudes and behaviors toward migrants. The project’s underpinning is based on 30 problem-focused interviews which were held with adolescents who range from ages 14 to 21.
The goal of the analysis is (a) to identify daily life situations with migrants that are of emotional significance for the individual, (b) to point out the subjective appraisal processes underlying the specific emotions, (c) to reconstruct the developmental process of group-based emotions and (d) to identify possible ways the different types of emotions influence the evaluation, attitudes, behavioral intentions, and manners toward the respective outgroup.