Tag Archives | othering

The Rights of Non-Human Animals

With our May posting, Inspire Solutions puts a focus on an important issue that we have not addressed until now – the horrific, yet avoidable, abuse inflicted daily on non-human beings. While many have argued that the disregard of the suffering of other sentient beings is a fundamental ethical wrong and argued convincingly for the […]

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Protest in the Black Lives Matter Movement: An Interview with Activist and Lawyer Justin Hansford

As part of OpenDemcracy’s Right to Protest series, Anna Norman interviews activist and lawyer Justin Hansford on the frustration and anger that has given rise to Black Lives Matter, the cultural shifts that are taking place as a result, and the need for protests that disrupt the status quo. ********** Anna Norman (AN): Can you […]

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Racism and the Persistence of Scientific Myth

In this important article, Eliza Wood reminds us of the deep roots that the myths of white racial superiority have in western society, legitimized over centuries by a self-serving science seeking to justify slavery and colonialism. While these ideas have been completely rejected by modern science, they continue to resonate today, and it seems lately […]

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A Tale of Two Cities: Rio de Janeiro´s Violence

Isabella Smull begins with a devastating statistic: 80% of Rio de Janeiro’s residents believe they are at risk of being murdered in the next twelve months. Yet, as she adds, not all Brazilians experience violence equally. Roughly half of all homicides occur in just two percent of the city´s street blocks, an area of devastating poverty. Isabella’s […]

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An Introduction to Our Topic: Resistance (2)

A serious consideration of nonviolent resistance requires us to confront both practical and conceptual issues. While the practice goes back at least to the 4th century B.C.E., its history and successes remain largely unrecognized. Given our current normalization of violence, we tend to see every nonviolent movement that fails as confirmation of the inherent limitations […]

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Germaine Tillion, une leçon de vie dont on peut s’inspirer

In this very important contribution, Dawson College Professor Djemaa Maazouzi introduces us to Germaine Tillion, an anthropologist and ethnologist, revered by many as the “conscience of 20th century France,” whose life and work was driven by her moral outrage over human suffering. In the 1930s, she opposed the racist ideologies spreading through Europe and the […]

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Clearing the Plains

In his recent award-winning book, Clearing the Plains, author and historian James Daschuk sheds light on a dark time in Canadian history and looks at the tremendous cost First Nations people paid for the realization of former Prime Minister John A. Macdonald’s national dream. In this article, he reveals the origins of the continuing gap […]

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Promoting Reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians

“We must be honest about the real two solitudes in this country, that between Indigenous and non-Indigenous citizens, and commit to doing tangible things to close the divide in awareness, understanding and relationships.” Marie Wilson, Commissioner of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission ********** Inspire Solutions and Dawson’s First Peoples Initiative recently hosted a talk by […]

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On Human and Institutional Lifespans

In this essay, Alexandra Law examines the commonly-expressed view that it is inappropriate to offer apologies or compensation for wrongs of the past. She argues, with a focus on two dark periods in Canadian history, that we need to consider the notion of institutional responsibility. ********** In his book, The Inconvenient Indian, Thomas King includes […]

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Oppositional Identities and Offensive Speech

In this excerpt from a larger work, philosopher Trudy Govier examines whether if may be possible to overcome divisions by rejecting the labeling of others. She looks both at the main philosophical issues raised by treating others as a member of a category rather than a complete person, and at the coercive aspects of the […]

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An Introduction to Our Topic: Us and Them

Our minds categorize, our language defines and distinguishes, and our bodies are primed to fear the stranger; othering, the theme for this third issue of Inspire Solutions, comes all too naturally to us. Indeed, some psychologists suggest that as much as 80% of the population in western democracies display subtle biases against those deemed different […]

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The Language of Othering

In this article Louisa Hadley examines how language is built around the very idea of difference, and thus has the power to “other” people. Often, this is done explicitly and intentionally, but, as this essay shows through the history of the word “gay” (and with a look at Ash Beckham’s video, “It’s So Gay”), equally […]

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In the Name of Equality?

In this essay, Leila Bdeir examines the current debate over the minority Parti Quebecois’ proposal to ban the wearing of religious symbols by employees of the public sector, drawing out the division within feminism. While some view the banning of the hijab as a means to promote greater equality of the sexes, what is striking […]

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A Penny for Your Thoughts

In this personal account, Dipti Gupta discusses her struggle to respond to the bullying of her daughter and the lessons she learned along the way that reinforced her belief that “othering” needs to be confronted right away and become a regular part of our conversations in the classroom. ****** A few years ago, I was […]

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Tackling Othering In and Out of the Classroom

Many pedagogical resources exist to help us respond to othering: UnderstandingPrejudice.org offers us tools to recognize our own assumptions about difference; A Class Divided reveals the lessons of Jane Elliott’s blue eyes/brown eyes experiment; living libraries help us see the individuals within the groups we devalue; and a couple of informative videos from our 2011 […]

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Many Others

In this very personal essay, Michael Duckett reveals how his experiences with the many others he has encountered through teaching have not only broadened his perspective, but revealed a multitude of stereotypes that need to be challenged.    ****** During my decades teaching at Dawson College, I have had wonderful encounters with people of hundreds […]

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Can Empathy be Taught?

In this provocative essay, Greta Hofmann Nemiroff discusses how she has managed to create teaching environments conducive to the experience and expression of empathy, while expressing doubts, rooted in her experiences, that have led her to question whether empathy really can be taught. ****** Can empathy be taught? In reaction to our experience of an […]

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A Posthuman Approach to Global Politics

While environmental problems are often addressed in the field of political science, the resulting harm to both humans and nature, and the interconnections between them, are often left invisible as the focus is put on the interests of states. Cynthia Martin suggests that empathy can be promoted through a shift in one’s theoretical perspective. ****** […]

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Some Tried and True Assignment Ideas

Some tried and true assignment ideas: Gloria Lalonde examines how a course that deals with promoting knowledge about social injustice can find space for the personal; Karen Ridd presents an experiential assignment that offers students a deeper understanding of class inequality. ******  Ensuring the personal does not get lost in our theoretical discussions A project […]

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