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Is this how Othering (innocently) starts?

Ville Kokko

Posted on May 21, 2021 13:45

2 users

That meme about Marie Kondo and books opens a view into how people can accidentally label others negatively.

I'm part of a group on Facebook where a lot of people clearly identify as book lovers. (It's not the one whose name is shown in the picture below.) They keep sharing memes where the joke is always something like "I have a lot of books." I think it got old a long time ago, but my purpose here is not to complain about that. (I will complain about something else, though.)

So guess what meme, in different variations, I've seen shared in the group several times.

To the credit of the general mass of people in the group, they seem to be getting faster and faster in pointing out that Marie Kondo didn't even say this. It's just another example of things being dumbed down harmfully because of memetics.

So, about Othering. It's a concept I've come across and read about a bunch of times. I understand it a bit, but I'm no expert. This source defines it like this:

Othering is a phenomenon in which some individuals or groups are defined and labeled as not fitting in within the norms of a social group. It is an effect that influences how people perceive and treat those who are viewed as being part of the in-group versus those who are seen as being part of the out-group.

Othering also involves attributing negative characteristics to people or groups that differentiate them from the perceived normative social group.

It is an “us vs. them” way of thinking about human connections and relationships. This process essentially involves looking at others and saying "they are not like me" or "they are not one of us."

Othering is a way of negating another person's individual humanity and, consequently, those that are have been othered are seen as less worthy of dignity and respect.

What's not so much mentioned here is that Othering is also related to defining who I am and who we are by defining someone else who is not like that.

This is an example of how that starts: "I like books. I like to affirm it as part of my identity and belonging to the group that like books. Oh, look, here's a meme about how someone doesn't like having a lot of books, and how she's wrong. I'll post it for others to see... not checking for accuracy or anything, because that's not the point, my identity is."

Only it does become the point when this leads to people looking down on Marie Kondo and mocking her. Not only is the inaccuracy a point, but attacking the person would be a bad thing even if she really did say something you disagree with.

Ville Kokko

Posted on May 21, 2021 13:45

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Source: Screen Rant

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