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Xenophilia, gender and sentimental humanitarianism
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 17:42 authored by Patricia Owens
This article contrasts the treatment of refugees and immigrants in the United States after 9.11 with the last Muslim mass-immigration of the twentieth century, Kosovo-Albanian refugees, and the already present Albanian-Americans who welcomed them. After NATO's 1999 bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), roughly 863,000 people sought refuge outside Kosovo, mainly into Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro, while an additional 590,000 were internally displaced. The historical context presented in the first part of the article shows how the treatment of the refugees during and after the war was shaped by norms of public and private derived from the political development of the West, as well as more recent efforts to globally regulate the trans-national flow of peoples. The trans-national history of these migrants was narrated in the mainstream US public sphere in a way that conformed to (usually liberal) sentimental fantasy norms about the 'American way of life'. Several of the public and private norms associated with gender, race, and economy in the United States appeared upheld and invigorated via representations of these 'foreigners'. The final section addresses what broadly can be conceived as an ethics of compassion and sentimental empathy for suffering which were the major tropes around which migrant identities were put to use.
Department affiliated with
- International Relations Publications
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