Social Education to End the Vice of Alienating Others in Terms of Physical Appearance, Language, Mannerisms, Socio-Economic Status, and National Identity – Literature review Example

LCT Task 2 Otherness Otherness refers to is a type of mentality in which a person defines themselves in opposition to another person or as being different from them. It is a mental action that indicates self-consciousness and a perception of separateness between oneself and another person. Those who feel superior to the ‘other’ do not consider them as being important. This is evidenced by actions like walking past them without saying a word. Otherness can also be experienced by a group, social class, society, school or neighborhood. Apart from race and sex, otherness can also be generated by differences in physical differences and socio-economic status (Geisel 1961).
Melissa Algranati, “Being an Other”
In the article “Being an Other” by Melissa Algranati, otherness is represented in terms of physical appearance, language, mannerisms, socio-economic status, ethnicity and national identity. Algranati’s mother had perfected her English and did not display typical Hispanic mannerism (Algranati p572). This protected her from being identified as the ‘other’ and enabled her to exit in the American society. Algaranati is a product of people from two different ethnic backgrounds and luck enough, her physical appearance makes her to be perceived as an ‘all-American girl’. This conceals her identity as the other, not unless exposes it herself.
Despite his Egyptian citizenship, Algranati’s father could not escape the eviction of the “other” in Egypt because of the strong Jewish sentiment (Algranati p575). According to Algranati, the concept of otherness can only result after we compare ourselves with others. This is supported by the fact that Algranati was brought up under a mixture of Sephardic and Puerto Rican customs and she views herself as having lived in neither of those. This is because she had not realized her uniqueness, the hallmark of being branded as the ‘other’.
Otherness can be simulated by other people surrounding a person basing on any unique feature in them, for example, national identity according to Dublin (1996). This is seen where Algranati only developed otherness after she sat for standardized PSAT exam, an exam which required the candidates to state who exactly they were. The other in this piece of work represents people who are not of American background. This includes all underrepresented groups like the Puerto Ricans and Egyptian Jewish. What makes them to be identified as the ‘other’ are their unique appearance, language and mannerisms.
Otherness in a classroom situation
Otherness has a strong relationship with stereotypes experienced by the minority groups in every society according to Dublin (1996). In a classroom situation, this leads to a feeling of insubordination by the affected student. This feeling can result from bullying and alienation experienced by the student. In order to identify such students, I would be keen on the personality traits of every student and, how the students interact and socialize in various situations.
In most cases, a student experiencing otherness will be a lone walker and will avoid group work, especially those involving students outside their ethnic or socio-economic backgrounds. A close observation of such student will reveal withdrawal and reduced enthusiasm for all activities. In order to assist a student experiencing otherness, I would pair them with friendly students and supportive activities. In all in-class and out-of-class activities, I would offer positive reinforcement to the particular student. Social education will also form part of this mitigation in order to end the vice of bullying or alienating others.
Algranati, Melissa. "Being an Other." In Maasik S. and Solomon J. (2006) Signs of Life in the USA. Bedford/ St Martin. pp570-575.
Dublin, T. (1996). Becoming American, becoming ethnic: college students explore their roots. Philadelphia. Temple University Press.
Geisel, T. (1961). The Sneetches and Other Stories. Random House. New York. Random House.