Below is an essay on "Otherness" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.
Perspectives on Otherness
The word Otherness has its root from the Middle English ‘alter’ and that which comes from the Middle French ‘alterer’., and from Medieval Latin ‘alterare’ and that has passed over from Latin alter meaning the Other. Thus Otherness, which takes all of the above into consideration, is the condition of alterity and difference.
In this respect, alterity is not a synonym of difference; what it signifies is Otherness, a distinction or separation that entails difference. Otherness disrupts the illusion of self-sameness on the level of the subjects possession of essence. Kaja Silverman describes the condition or quality of being Other as ‘identify-at-a-distance’ (15).
Otherness is a wide topic that is encountered in terms of class, gender, sex, race, nationality, ethnicity, philosophy and psychology. It has a wide range of applications.
In identity theory a certain sense of Otherness is encountered. Many contemporary theories of identity use the concept of Otherness to differentiate ones person from another. This is usually in the distinction between the black and the white. According to Terry Goldie in his article “The Representation of the Indigene’ he writes,
At least since Fanon’s Black skin, White Masks (1952) it has been a commonplace to use Other and not self for the White view of blacks and for the resulting black views of themselves (233).
In Terry Goldie’s account Otherness is associated with racial affliation. Otherness within this context is what is used to identify and differentiate the white from the black. From this account, Otherness has a dual function, that of white view of the black and that of the blacks for themselves.
The same interpersonal distinction of race between the black and the white is also encountered in Abdul. R. Jan Mohames’s ‘The Economy of Manichean Allegory”. Here the argues forth,
Troubled by the nagging contradiction between the theoretical justification of exploitation and the...