Points and questions from the initial brainstorm (Day 1 virtual workshop)

(tidied up for coherence, in the order raised)

  • When do we put others down?
  • Sometimes we put down people similar to ourselves (not only the different)?
  • When does Othering become a problem?
  • Comes about due to deep evolutionary programming.
  • There is a contrast between rich individual interactions but then simplistic views of the other group.
  • It is important to consider what othering means for those in the other group – the consequences for them or their group.
  • It would be good to unpack the process itself – how do we process the other and their group?
  • Dominance is an important aspect of othering – what drives people to show their dominance as a group (this occurs across different cultures)?
  • Othering seems to happen in all societies
  • Does othering have an ‘original function’ when it first evolved/developed?
  • Does othering stops at some point – that is are their different levels of othering?
  • Othering often involves actors with a lot of power/voice.
  • It involves a lot of social interaction and feedback – it is not just an individual thing, but socially coordinated (by sharing the othering perspective).
  • From an individual point of view, what drives an individual to obtain power/dominance?
  • Group power can be functional – to create community (e.g. gives sport a lot of its emotional meaning).
  • When does othering become “bad” – is there good othering?
  • Othering is intimately related to violence (either implicit or explicit).
  • A factor is the limits of cognition in representing the complexity of social reality
  • Othering (or the tendencies it is composed of) might be necessary to function as a group.
  • The anti-vaxx case shows that sometimes the characteristic that binds can be in sharp contrast to those not in the group.
  • There are distinctly paranoid aspects to othering.
  • One of dimensions of culture is how close-knit groups are (and that varies from culture to culture) – e.g. individualistic society vs collectivist society – this effects the tendency to other.
  • Crises can impact on othering process.
  • Othering sometimes seems to be a function of resource availability (e.g. a crisis of shortages of something important)
  • The medium othering occurs in is important – how do its characteristics affect the process of othering (e.g. compare face-face vs social media)?

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