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Accepted Paper:

Understanding xenophobia from a local perspective: structural, political and cultural conditions of anti-migrant mobilization in rural Hungary  
Margit Feischmidt (Center for Social Sciences (Hungarian Academy of Sciences))

Paper short abstract:

This lecture will explore how and why anti-migrant discourses emerge in the particular socio-economic contexts of post-communist and neo-capitalist European semi-periphery.

Paper long abstract:

The locality analyzed in the case study is a village on the Hungarian side of Serbian-Hungarian border which was crossed by hundreds of thousands of migrants during the last year. The village has a countrywide reputation because of its far right major. By securitizing the migrant issue he not only has stabilized his power, but by documenting his local interventions on social media he could effectively authenticate and spread the panic nationally and to some extent even globally. By applying an ethnographic approach, the paper seeks to uncover structural forces, discourses and agencies that help to explain the success of a multi-layer anti-migrant mobilization campaign (on national, local and international level). Using narrative data it shows how despite of physical and social contacts the "aliens" could be converted into "enemies" due to the role of racializing discourses spread on social media, in political and everyday talk. The paper also demonstrates that social contacts and very few cases of solidarity were controlled and reconfigured by real and virtual discourses of disgust, fear and dehumanization. The analysis will incorporate theories of migration, racism and xenophobia, as well as far right politics and its mainstreaming in European societies.

Panel P025
"Refugee crisis", European reactions and the role of anthropology [WCAA Panel]
  Session 1