An aim of CuRAtOR is thinking how we might counteract the resultant problematic outcomes of Othering, but what is Othering?
If we look at this in the Google dictionary we find the definition:
view or treat (a person or group of people) as intrinsically different from and alien to oneself.
Othering is a result of our perceived need to categorise people as a routine part of living our lives and knowing how to react to one another and new situations. Othering can be a neutral or even positive way of building our own identity, and often serves as a useful and harmless way of grouping people in our social interactions (e.g. “he is from Yorkshire, whereas I am from London”). However, Othering is often more negatively performed, and people may choose to group people in negative ways: for example, thinking that they are inferior, or maybe even dangerous. Being aware of Othering can help us think more clearly about the assumptions we may make which have the potential to stereotype groups of people in negative ways.
As food for thought, and to see how social media users are actively thinking about and reacting to Othering, we have included a raw feed of Twitter that searches using this term.