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Othering ? (Doing Harm)


Othering: It is about the self and the group or tribe especially in violent scenario's. The term actually opposes the "Same." When in a group that is "tight" there seems to have some sameness in common. It is cultural along with a belief system that supports the group cohesiveness whereby the group or tribe will work as one for survival. Other refers to that which is other than the initial concept considered. It is a person other than one's self. They are identified as "different." 

This is a term used for social science to understand the processes of the tribe who will exclude "Others" to whom they want to subordinate or that don't fit the cultural belief system of that tribe. It is about comprehending who the "Other" person is and involves the roles for that person as it might compare to the group or tribe. 

Segregation comes from othering as to this perception. To be admitted to a group the "Other" must meet a certain role be they male or female, etc. Othering is about determining that which is uncertain, as to the tribe, and what is certain for that tribe. 

To "Other" a person or group is to provide the means of "dehumanizing" that person or group. It provides justifications any attempt by one group to civilize, according to that groups culture, beliefs and roles, another group and then, if that fails, provide the excuse to exploit the other group as "inferior" to themselves. It makes it easier to become violent and to kill the other group or tribe. 

In martial arts circles even with groups studying and practicing the same system or style will tend to "Other" the factions of that system for the same reasoning defined here. Isshinryu for instance has at least five major factions within the system in the West. These factions or groups are tied to a particular person in a particular area of the country. Most from the Eastern seaboard of the America's and two from the Western. Then there are sub-factions that branched off from these five major tribes of Isshinryu. This is not just indicative of the Isshinryu system but all the systems and extends to other countries such as European and even Asian. 

Groups who other tend to do this so they can utilize actions that fall into the "asocial" spectrum, i.e. this is how the military can train soldiers to kill the enemy, i.e. the word enemy itself is about "Othering" a group outside the group. This allows one human being to use more force on things that are "different then themselves." This can best be described as creating a mind-state that allow to squash bugs, hunt animals and fight humans, i.e. the more we convince ourselves that someone is not like us, the more force that can be used against that person, the faster we can apply that force against "Others" and we create a mind-state less likely to suffer the psychological ramifications one might encounter hurting one of the tribal members (remember survival of the tribe depends on not doing great damage, i.e. why social violence exists, of its members). 

Others is something that is and can be trained. The more you are able to "Other" the more you can use force without any hesitation and hesitation can mean the difference between even life and death. The idea is to achieve a certain level of removal of victims humanity that might restrict the use of force at all levels. 

This is a complex term that requires a good deal of study, training and practice under proper guidance and supervision as it can become something extreme resulting in a person being a predator vs. just a person doing their job in a violent discipline, i.e. police, military, etc. 

Bibliography:
"Other" Wikipedia, 02:26, 14 April 2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Other

Tanin [他人]

The characters/ideograms mean, "other people; others; another person; unrelated person (i.e. not related by blood); outsider; stranger." The first character means, "other; another; the others," the second character means, "person."

1 comment:

John Vesia said...

"Hell is other people."
- Jean-Paul Sartre