A CASE STUDY: COSTA RICAN PERCEPTION OF NICARAGUAN MIGRANTS

2022-7-09
Sağır, Kıvanç
Costa Rica is proud of its pacifist and democratic tradition based on the idea of being a white nation. It is indeed one of the most developed countries in Latin America in terms of human development, human rights, access to health care services and technologies. It is also one of the few countries that do not possess a regular army since 1948. On the other hand, there is a great amount of migration flow especially from Nicaragua bordering the north of the country. There are many reasons for this flow of Nicaraguan migrants, who arrive in Costa Rica both in irregular and legal ways. However, with the amount of these “foreigners” increasing every year, the Costa Rican society has been asking whether they are about to lose their identity, whose self-perceived aspects are mentioned above. Some call this xenophobia, while there are many academicians and ordinary citizens who oppose this attitude against the Nicaraguans living in their country. What matters, in this thesis, is that the Nicaraguan population has been feeling ontologically threatened, or in other words ontologically vulnerable, a term which is employed in this thesis to explain the socially and culturally existential situation they are facing in the country to which they, for economic or political reasons, had to migrate. This thesis will discuss an already existing term, “ontological security” to explain the Costa Rican nationals’ attachment to their perceived democratic and peaceful identity, which eventually leads to the conflicts with their now-neighbors in their own country.

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Citation Formats
K. Sağır, “A CASE STUDY: COSTA RICAN PERCEPTION OF NICARAGUAN MIGRANTS,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2022.