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Xenophobia In Correlation to Education


I?m doing a mock-thesis project for my 10th grade English class on ?xenophobia and nationalism in correlation to education and cultural awareness & diversity?. It?s a mouthful but basically I?m researching racism stemmed from fear of outsiders (xenophobia) in relation to one?s education level (the theory being that higher education = lower xenophobia).

What I ask is that someone presents me with a strong argument why education is not the solution to solving problems of xenophobia, and for you to share any other thoughts you have on the subject (even if you don?t believe your argument, if you could play devil?s advocate that would be great).

I have already discovered the argument of education being biased towards nationalism (hence the title). Also any other speculative theories on how to ?solve? the problem of xenophobia in our culture today would be appreciated. Thanks in advance,


Well, if you buy into current thinking everybody outside our borders is fanatic terrorist scum who want to kill us because we are free, what difference would our own thinking make?

Too bad things are never really that simple.

However, as an arguing point you could take the stance that if an outside threat is real, no amount of education will change that fact.

Although, I'd argue that an education might at least allow one to see how the situation came about and possibly figure out how to defuse it, instead of just stopping at the point of accepting external groups as "evil".

Thinking is hard work, why bother?


A few ideas, and playing a little Devil's Advocate:

  1. Xenophobia in the abstract is bad - as in distrust or fear of someone because they are different merely because they are different can be improved with education. So in a kind of theoretical vaccum, that works.

The problem comes in when xenophobia is attached to an observable experience. Education will have its limits removing xenophobic tendencies if these tendencies are reinforced repeatedly through real-world experience.

  1. Education, whatever its definition, cannot rid us of our innate human nature - and disliking/distrusting things that are different can only be mitigated though education, never 'cured'.

  2. There are practical restraints to a sort of utopian idea of getting rid of xenophobia - it assumes that the other 'side' plans on returning the favor. Assuming you get the 'education' that gets rid of your xenophobia, a person of a different ethnicity might not have that same education or may have rejected it. So, what good is your desire to not be xenophobic if that attitude is not reciprocated and can be exploited as naivete in a real-world situation? You'll be tolerant as hell - and dead.

  3. There is a strong need to make sure the definition of xenophobia stays within the limited parameters of irrationally fearing or disliking the unknown. Once you get to know someone or something, there may be plenty of rational reasons to fear or dislike them, but there would likely be an abuse and misuse of the label 'xenophobe' in that situation when it doesn't apply.


Quantifying education may be a difficult thing to do, you might want to stick to the figures and definitions offered by bodies such as the IMF, World Bank and the like. On a qualitative level there is undoubtedly a great deal of incongruence on the level of learning involved in education, A M.A. from Harvard is qualitatively different from one from a state university, although the two would likely square in the measurements used by the World Bank.

Additionally, quantifying levels of xenophobia may be a difficult thing to do.

My best suggestion for you as far as finding quantitative evidence to support a hypothesis that xenophobia declines with an increase in education is to look at the educational attainment in various countries and how well they correspond to the rates at which individuals in those respective countries travel internationally. There may be a problem in doing this though as rates of educational attainment are highest in the developed countries of the world, which also happen to be the wealthiest, wealth enabling travel and so on...

I would suspect though, as this is a 10th grade project that as long as you point out this causal conundrum you'll be ok.


In direct opposition of your proposed thesis statement is the idea that 'hatred' (may be too strong) towards certain groups can be STARTED or increased with increasing education.

When I was young, I drew a swastika on a toy paper gun. I drew it cause it looked like a cool symbol. Long story short, my parent took it from me, tore it up, told me it was a bad symbol, and not to do it again. That was my last drawing of one. I didnt know why...until later in life following education. I learned of the Nazi party, the atrocities. I learned why it represented evil. I still did not know how evil until seeing photos prison camps in a "Time" picture book. The savagry and brutality shown in those photos sticks with me. The thought of it saddens and sickens me and makes me 'resent' those at the time that both participated and/or sat idly by...on all sides. And to respect those that sacrificed much to try to end it.

So my story is that 'nothing' grew to 'resentment' of others through education and my personal experiences.
Just another angle to investigate...

Now to support your thesis:
I believe that youths touting and displaying supremist ideas and appearances, praising the Nazi party, etc. today do so MOSTLY out of the need to rebel. I think if they truly knew what they were representing, they would pick another avenue to rebel.

...or at least I hope so.


"Also any other speculative theories on how to ?solve? the problem of xenophobia in our culture today would be appreciated. Thanks in advance,"

Drugs and sex. If everyone is given drugs by the government and attends government orgies they wont be able to object to anything.

It is straight out of the increasingly prophetic novel Brave New World.

I think it is the only workable solution to enure total submission to a the status quo. A least it will be more fun that re-education camps.






Is your dog typing for you now? Roof what?


It's from a book...