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Title: Fear of the unknown : exploring feelings, attitudes and perceptions of Maltese university students on the phenomenon of African migration in Malta
Authors: Galea, Daniela
Keywords: Africans -- Malta
Public opinion
Immigrants -- Malta
Stereotypes (Social psychology) -- Malta
Prejudices -- Malta
Immigrants -- Press coverage -- Malta
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: Fear of the Unknown was inspired from a personal belief, regarding the fact that Maltese people have an ingrained feeling of fear and hostility towards African Immigrants without knowing exactly why. The study will focus on the feelings, attitudes and perceptions of university students due to their potential future status that may eventually influence the political decisions regarding the notion of African migration in Malta. These participants were found by the means of convenience sampling. This explorative study was carried out with the use of three focus groups each made up of six participants. Prior the commencement of the sessions each participant was given out a consent form which gave an outline of how the session would be structured. The focus group sessions began with a narration of a true story of an African immigrant's experience of his migration to Malta. This was followed by a set of open ended questions which were used to gather the wanted data. The main themes that came out of this study were mostly feelings of fear and hostility resulting in xenophobia and racism, the economical burden that migrants are said to be imposing on the Maltese society, the notion that our national identity may be lost through multiculturalism and the belief that integration of African immigrants in the Maltese society is not feasible as there is a constant fear that they will take over. None of the participants gave out a clear explanation why there is this underlying fear of 'the blacks', as migrants were constantly referred to. It was concluded that the initial belief of ingrained fear within Maltese citizens, is an actual reality. This implies that in no stage of their education did these university students learn to accept such diversity, which led to their believing that integration of Maltese people with African migrants is not plausible. This concept recalls for a set of measures which may counteract these misconceptions. This study recommends that a reform in the education system should be applied as to educate future generations from a tender age. Also, the way in which the media portrays the African migration phenomenon needs to be altered. Furthermore it is essential that social workers should be the agents of change striving to attain authoritarian backup in achieving social justice.
Description: B.A.(HONS)SOC.WORK
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacSoWSPSW - 2009

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