Othering insists that any concept of self or identity requires the establishment of a distinct and external other against which it is defined. This implies that rather than thinking of identity as a concept that unites people who have something in common, it is something essentially linked to the identification of difference. It refuses to accept essentialist or natural definitions of identity, instead seeing all identities as being socially constructed. Thus, categories of identity are not fixed, timeless, or preexistent but emerge through social practice at particular times and in specific places. This is a binary form of thinking, which considers self and other to be complete and bounded opposites.

The concept of the other originates in the work of the philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, ...

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