For the last few days , I am reading the book OTHERNESS . In a world increasingly divided along the lines of colour, despite its apparent modernity , this book makes a hard look at the realities that lurk within us , both as individuals and as a society.
Why are we judged and discriminated based on gender , skin, colour , nationality or many other things ?
As I was going through this book and its name OTHERNESS always striking my mind hard , a question pondered my mind . And I thought who would be able to answer it better than the author of this book OTHERNESS.
So I requested the author of the book to submit a guestpost on my blog in answer to my question.
Here it goes:—
As an individual, how do you see OTHERNESS amongst males, females and the third sex?
This is not an easy answer and neither will it be easy for the querent to understand if the querent is not aware of Pierre Bourdieu’s sociological theories.
Although the question is somewhat right (as I am not sure how aware one is about the concept of third gender or third sex – which is actually a category where individuals are identified by the society as the “other”, thus labelled as neither male, nor female. However, the third sex might, by themselves, identify with one of the socially constructed gender binary) – the answer to this question is a hypothesis of mine, based on which I wrote my Master thesis under Dr. Prof. Franz Schultheis. My research work can be found in the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich.
Though individuals are responsible for their own perceptions (here the given perception is that of Otherness), through collective sharing of norms, memories and experiences these individuals are entering into a collective reception of norms, memories and experiences by all individuals of a given society sharing a sort of collective socio-cultural and religious heritage.
These individuals who collectively form culture and society (subsequently) through their reception of norms, memories and experiences of Others (which is based on their habitus, a predetermined subconscious of taste via sociocultural-religious upbringing and socialisation) – influence the perception of norms, memories and experiences of any individuals (male, female or “third sex”), who is also a member of the same society.
Thus any acting member of a society embodies the double role of the actor and the target of these collective constructions of reality (in general), along with perception and reception of norms, memories and experiences. While the collective socio-cultural and religious market dictates the way the individual is to identify themselves; the same structured socio-cultural and religious market that exploits norms, memories and experiences by all individuals is, in-turn, directing these individuals into subconsciously practicing the religion of consumption of biases by inflicting “Otherness”.
In short, as for my own individual perception, I see the problems caused by “Otherness” and how a society acts towards the designated “others”. I do not see “Otherness” amongst people unless people are heavily conformed to be a part of the structured structure of the society, where the structuring structure is “divide and rule” – Otherness.