Blame It on History: An Analysis of Racist Attitudes Amongst Maltese University Students




Mercieca, Susan

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Malta, a tiny island-state in the Mediterranean Sea has been a member of the European Union since 1 January 2004, and a member of the Schengen area since 21st December 2007. Since then, Malta has seemingly provided a golden gateway for the boatloads of people that escape the African shores in search of a better way of life. Many a study has focused on how this migratory phenomenon has effected the Maltese population. A detention policy enacted by the Maltese Government precludes the landed immigrants from roaming freely to their utter disillusionment. Thus if migration is as old as mankind, and the Maltese people are migrants themselves, one should assume that the Maltese – should understand and accept the immigrants in Malta. But answers to questions put to the University students in this study and other studies herewith quoted, prove differently. The shared-memories of the conflicts of gone-by eras, the way our history books have recorded such conflicts and taught in Maltese schools, as seen from the social identity theory, may have contributed for the current prejudice against the ‘klandestini’ and other foreigners. This study analyses the students’ attitudes towards these ‘third country nationals’.



Identity Conflict, Immigration, Prejudice, Chosen Traumas, Racism