Otherizing

The seven forms of “otherizing,” as defined by Robert J. Schreiter: 

1. We can demonize the other, treating the other as someone to be feared and eliminated if possible. 

2. We can, on the other hand, romanticize the other, treating the other as far superior to ourselves. 

3. We can colonize the other, treating the other as inferior, worthy of pity or contempt. 

4. We can generalize the other, treating the other as a non-individual and thus bereft of personal identity. 

5. We can trivialize the other by ignoring what makes the other disturbingly different. 

6. We can homogenize the other by claiming that there is no difference. 

7. We can vaporize the other by refusing to acknowledge the presence of the other at all.

Students will use this framework to identify when we fall victim of “otherizing” people. Doing so will train students to listen and consume conversations, readings, and media differently. By becoming aware of systems of oppression, as reflected in language, students are better poised to help dismantle them.