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Other (The Other)

The idea of “the other,” sometimes capitalized as the Other, and the closely associated idea of a “primary” or “constitutive” other entered scholarly discourse through continental philosophy and is a core concept of critical theory and cultural studies, especially subfields such as race theory, sex and gender studies, postcolonial theory, queer theory, and animal studies. To speak of the other is to imagine an opposition between “the same”—for example, the same kind of subjectivity, person, group, gender, sexual orientation, and so on—and “the other” (kind of subjectivity, person, group, gender, sexual orientation, etc.), in which the other plays a crucial role in constituting the same. Thus, one can speak, on the one hand, of the other in general—meaning any being who confronts “us” (the same) ...

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