The word xenophobia comes from the Greek words xénos (“stranger” or “guest”) and phóbos (“fear”), which, when combined, mean “fear of strangers.” The word was first used in a novel by Anatole France in 1901 and first appeared in a French dictionary in 1906. Several years later, it began appearing in English-language dictionaries.

The word xenophobia is widely used by the mass media and by political actors and has entered everyday language. It is not a word commonly used by psychologists, who prefer more theoretically defined concepts, such as stereotypes, prejudice, and ethnocentrism.

In social psychology, xenophobia is normally interpreted as a logical extension of ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism was originally coined by William Graham Sumner and denotes a process that simultaneously produces in-group solidarity and out-group hostility as ...

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