Explore BrainMass

The Experience of being the 'Other'

Choose one of the following topics to discuss. Reflect upon your chosen topic in a one- to two-page essay. Based on the topic you choose, describe what the experience was like, how it made you feel and think, and what you learned from it. .
1.Explore a time when you felt like "other"—when you were made to feel invisible, excluded, or too visible.
2.Explore a time when you perceived someone or some group as "other" (when you noticed someone or some group was outside or excluded).
3.Explore a time when a connection was made between you and an "other."

Solution Preview

Experiencing being 'The Other'

While I have not been familiar with the theoretical concept of 'the Other' in relation to identity formation, according to how Clarke (2008) defined it, it is likely that I have been defining part of who I am in relation to a perceived 'other' either as a person, as part of a culture, or a social group. Clarke (2008) writes - ", the notion of identity as shaped not just in relation to some other, but to the Other, to another culture. The notion of cultural identity becomes much stronger and firmer when we define our 'selves' in relation to a cultural Other. We start then to see ideas around 'ways of life', 'us' and 'them', and this is at the heart of racism, hatred and exclusion." When I travelled to Montreal, Canada, for example, I was immediately aware of how different the locals pronounced their words, how they talked and acknowledged each other as well as the 'Frenchness' of the place - in the their food, the ambiance of cafes and restaurants, the fashion worn by the locals, etc. It is essentially an exercise of comparing their way of life to mine - they were the 'other' to myself and the community I come from. While this was not a case of hatred of envy, just an observation of difference, it was still an exercise of defining the self by coming up with my difference and that of the place and community I come from in comparison to the 'Other' - the city of, and the people from Montreal.

Becoming the 'Other'

But one of the most enlightening and at the same time, a bit disturbing experience I have gone through is being the 'Other' in the eyes of another culture. When I was growing up, I have made friends with a new student in school. His family were newly immigrated to the US from the Philippines. ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above) on the topic of being 'the Other' through a situational example as through an 'experience'. An outline is suggested for an essay and resources listed.