Xenophobia refers to the irrational fear or hatred of foreigners. But recently I've seen people displaying (in newspaper articles and other places) an irrational fear or hatred of their own countrymen. Is there a word for that?
- allophilia (more general)
This is, however, not exactly what you are looking for, since being attracted to foreigners does not imply hating your compatriots. Allophilia won't fly at all, because it's an antonym for all kinds of prejudice.
I think your best bet is just to be specific: anti-Americanism, anti-Canadianism, anti-Ukrainian sentiment, anti-Irish sentiment, sinophobia, lusophobia and so forth:
- Americans are increasingly displaying anti-Americanism.
- Sinophobia is on the rise in China.
- Russian teenagers are showing signs of anti-Russian sentiment.
This will be understood by far more people than any generic term for "irrational fear or hatred of one's own countrymen" we can come up with.
Not a word, but phrases frequently (mis-)used: self-loathing, self-hating. For instance, Wikipedia has an article called self-hating Jew (whatever the validity of the term).
I came across this possibility today: oikophobia, which sounds like what I was looking for.
Would it not be simpler to say
that person is prejudiced against foreigners
that person is prejudiced against his own country
rather than to try to misappropriate yet another medical term?
A phobia once meant a medical condition. Unfortunately xenophobia's medical use as fear of foreigners has been corrupted by use as a kind of fancy synonym for racism. Similarly for silly words like homophobia, which means "prejudice against homosexuals" rather than "fear of homosexuals".
Medical words are often subjected to this kind of mistreatment. Take "nutritional value", which, to a nutritionist, means "the number of calories in a food". This word has been corrupted in common usage to the extent that people say things like "McDonald's food has no nutritional value" as a way of claiming that McDonald's food is not healthy. The speaker wants to add credibility to her claim about healthiness by using a fancy "medical" word which she actually doesn't understand, in effect saying that a type of food high in calories contains no calories at all.