The feeling of unfairness that right-wing extremists have is ‘horizontal’, contrasting themselves with a different civil group (often Muslims), Van den Bos explained. Contrarily, radical Muslims feel unjustly treated in a ‘vertical’ way, namely by institutions above them, such as the government, the police and other hierarchical organizations. Finally, Van den Bos described how left-wing extremists’ feeling of unfairness derives from their belief of being morally right and possessing moral superiority over others.
Prevent feelings of unfairness
Van den Bos maintained that many of these feelings of unfairness can be prevented or alleviated, for instance by devaluing the radical groups as an attractive source of identification, or by making alternative groups more relevant. According to Van den Bos, the feeling of moral superiority or righteousness is most difficult to prevent or reduce. In the latter part of his talk, he showed how the radicalization of the Zwartepietdiscussie (the Dutch discussion concerning ‘Black Pete’), follows a particular pattern, from a feeling of not being adequately heard by the government, through a focus on the opponent with incidental violence, to systematic, planned violence against the opponent.
Tineke Fokkema: The identification of older migrants
After a well-deserved lunch break, Tineke Fokkema kicked off the afternoon program with a lecture on the complicated identity of older migrants in the Netherlands. Firstly, she demonstrated how older migrants are an often overlooked group in scholarly research, since migrant studies often focus on younger migrants or more recent newcomers, whereas ageing studies often exclude migrants, because they are harder to reach and more difficult to communicate with. As such, the study that Fokkema carried out can certainly be regarded as pioneering.
The research focused on a number of migrants from a village in rural Central Anatolia (Turkey), who emigrated to Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands when they were younger. Based on interviews with these migrants, Fokkema showed how all of them identified with both their country of origin and the countries they migrated to.[SS(1] This feeling of ‘transnational belonging’ was sometimes expressed positively — by emphasizing belonging in both the country of origin and the country of destination —, but sometimes negatively as well — by expressing feelings of not belonging in either place.