Alienation

Othering: Defining 'Us' vs. 'Them'


Pegida Frankfurt

In a sense, othering is not a new phenomenon. People have at all times defined themselves in contrast to other cultures, values, customs and, well, people. However, in recent years the process of othering has become an increasingly predominant phenomenon throughout Europe - occuring inside, as well as between European societies. Immigrants vs. natives, East vs. West, Christian vs. Muslim, left- vs. right-wing: The conflict lines are manifold and are becoming more extreme. Othering, it seems, is gradually eroding the possibilities for finding common ground. On the contrary, it serves as a mobilizing, meaningful force to identify a common cause, a common foe.

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