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Is the notion of the other useful for analyzing theories and representations of race What does it include/avoid - Essay Example

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Is the notion of the other useful for analyzing theories and representations of race What does it include/avoid

Colonization was predicated on the idea of otherness, the existence of cultures that were defined through means that were not relative to Euro-Caucasian understandings of the world were deemed not valid and could therefore be subverted to the wants and desires of an oppressive force that gleaned profit from that which could be mined for its resources. In assigning the idea of other, cultures were dehumanized and used without regard to the affects of that use on the cultural existence.
In examining the nature of otherness and the development of the character presence as it is defined by what is alien to the culture of origin, the nature of the perceptions about the exotic can be revealed. As art reflects stereotypes that define how one culture or race perceives the experience of being human in relationship to other cultures, it can be seen that in many cases differences are translated through a process of dehumanization. Otherness is a state of existence through which the development of the exotic creates a sense of mystery that is part of the concept of supernatural, suggesting that otherworldliness of human existence is on a plane that is outside of what is known, and therefore unfathomable. The development of the notion of otherness is a way of coping with what is not easily understood about differences between cultures, exploring sexuality and fear through the development of concepts rather than individuated characterisation.
Stereotypes are ways of categorizing people into groupings that are designated for cultural differences that can be superficially recognized to create a profile of a people. Gilman (1985, p. 15) begins the discussion of stereotypes by stating that "We all create images of things we fear or glorify". In creating these images, it sets them apart and supports a perception about otherness as it is defined by what is percieved to be true in relationship to differences that are not readily ...Show more
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Summary

The representation of other in art and literature is an intention to engage the exotic, taking that which is human and rendering it unique and alien so that the mystery of other cultures takes on the aspect of something foreign to the human experience. The concept of otherness…
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