Othering

Othering is a strategy that reinforces the mainstream by differentiating individuals and groups and relegating them to the margins according to a range of socially constructed categories. Othering occurs via a wide range of practices from language differentiation to geographical assignation, native/nonnative status (despite legal citizenship), and photographic and filmic techniques that foreground and center some characters while backgrounding and obscuring others. As a keyword, othering is articulated to concepts such as marginalization, bordering, iconization, ethnicity, ghettoization, globalization, and social difference, while symbolic annihilation, glass ceiling, spiral of silence, and in-group out-group are all findings within media studies that further document ongoing processes of othering.

Media studies scholars utilize the concept to discuss topics ranging from race and ethnic to gender and sexuality studies. While most research focuses on representation, othering also occurs in the production of media and in the construction of media audiences. One could categorize the production …

This essay may be found on page 133 of the printed volume.

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