Friday, 12 May 2023

Asylum Seekers vs Refugees vs War Refugees vs Economic Refugees

Language matters. In their study, Kotzur, Forsbach and Wagner (2017) asked university students to share their thoughts associated with the group labels "asylum seekers", "refugees", "war refugees" and "economic refugees": “When you hear the term [label], whom do you think of? Please write down everything that comes to your mind. Please also indicate where you think [label] come from and why they’ve come to Germany. To do so, please complete the following sentence: When I think of [label], I think of…”

Refugees were more often associated with fleeing due to war and the intention to escape from persecution than asylum seekers were. The results for war refugees mostly echoed the results for refugees. When it came to economic refugees, however, a different pattern emerged. They were significantly more often categorised as well educated and comparably little need of help and experiences of loss and trauma.
[…] It makes me angry that the majority of refugees are economic refugees and now share our wealth, and will not give anything back to the state in the future (asylum seekers condition)
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- Kotzur, P. F., Forsbach, N. & Wagner, U. (2017). Choose Your Words Wisely. Stereotypes, Emotions, and Action Tendencies Toward Fled People as a Function of the Group Label. hogrefe, link
- photograph by Magnum photographer Enri Canaj via

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