The concept of ‘othering’ originates from postcolonial theory, where it is often used to describe the ways in which Western colonizing countries have been imagining the foreign places, people, and cultures of (formerly) colonized countries since the beginning of European imperialism (Said 1994 ). Until today, ‘othering’ has been a representational strategy frequently used in discursive practices of depicting people from foreign countries as well as their cultures and traditions. This also holds for European media coverage of migration which tends to draw on, and perpetuate, strategies of ‘othering,’ for example the polarizing division between ‘us’ and ‘them’ in representations of migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and displaced people. Media representations may thus contribute to strengthening and perpetuating Eurocentric conceptualizations of migrants as the foreign ‘other’ which run counter to notions of diversity, equal participation, and conviviality, as well as inclusion and integration (Martikainen and Sakki 2021; Müller 2018; see also the contributions in Siouti et al. 2022).
⇢ see also Frame analysis (aka framing analysis), Conviviality, Diversity, Frames of migration, Inclusion, Integration, Frames of migration, Race, Racism, Victimization
References and further reading:
Martikainen, Jari, and Inari Sakki. 2021. “Visual (De)Humanization: Construction of Otherness in Newspaper Photographs of the Refugee Crisis.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 44.16: 236–266.
Müller, Tobias. 2018. “Constructing Cultural Borders: Depictions of Muslim Refugees in British and German Media.” Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft 12: 263–277.
Said, Edward W. 1994 . Orientalism. 25th Anniversary Edition with a New Preface by the Author. New York, NY: Vintage Books.
Siouti, Irini, Tina Spie, Elisabeth Tuider, Hella von Unger, and Erol Yildiz (eds.). 2022. Othering in der postmigrantischen Gesellschaft: Herausforderungen und Konsequenzen für die Forschungspraxis. Bielefeld: transcript.
Work Package: 2, 4, 5
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