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Less “human” than us: dehumanisation as a psychological barrier to the integration of migrants

McLoughlin, Niamh and Over, Harriet (2019) Less “human” than us: dehumanisation as a psychological barrier to the integration of migrants. In: Kehoe, S. Karly and Alisic, Eva and Heilinger, Jan-Christoph, eds. Responsibility for Refugee and Migrant Integration. De Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-062336-9. (doi:10.1515/9783110628746-008) (KAR id:87929)


Prejudice and discriminatory behaviour remain significant barriers to positive intergroup relations. In a time in which global migration rates are at their highest (and continue to rise), recent emphasis has been placed on the negative perceptions of certain immigrant and refugee group members in Western media and political discourse. A prominent feature of these debates involves the perceived “humanness” of migrant individuals. The tendency to view culturally dissimilar others as less human compared to one’s own cultural group is not a novel social phenomenon however. In this chapter, we draw from the fields ofphilosophy, social and developmental psychology to examine the nature of dehumanisation in the context of migration. Through understanding the psychological processes by which dehumanising perceptions are acquired and expressed, this research ultimately hopes to inform strategies to foster the inclusion of newcomers within their host countries.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1515/9783110628746-008
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Niamh MCLOUGHLIN
Date Deposited: 05 May 2021 17:21 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 06:28 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

McLoughlin, Niamh.

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