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Dirt and Disrespect in the Creation of Exclusionary Boundaries

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Chapter Summary

Member interviewee after member interviewee drew a link between the nonexistent or tense relationship between the members and the dwellers and dirt, smells, disrespectful behaviour and other concrete problems that they affiliated with the Refugee Ministry. This chapter examines the roles that cleanliness and conduct, dirt and disrespect, played in the construction of exclusionary boundaries between members and dwellers. Meanings attached to Christianity, humanity and refugee-ness all emerged as important lenses through which the groups made sense of dirt and disrespect with regards the relationship. Dirt was a central limitation to the relationship at a concrete level and, if immoral behaviour is understood as dirt, also at a moral level. The different meanings that have been attached to dirt in the chapter challenged members' perceptions of themselves as Christians. The chapter points out that a link between practical problems and xenophobia was addressed by interviewees both explicitly and implicitly.

Keywords: Christianity; dirt; disrespect; humanity; member interviewee; refugee ministry; xenophobia

10.1163/9789004274136_010
/content/books/b9789004274136s010
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