Child as Other/Stranger

The idea of the child is often posed as the obverse of the autonomous, rational, adult subject, or citizen, what is sometimes conceptualized as an Other. The term Other refers to an aspect of the world, usually another human being, that is external to the Self but also essential to the formation of one’s self-awareness and personal identity. As the concept is developed in philosophy, psychology, and sociology, an individual’s reflective consciousness is constructed through communication or confrontation with an Other who is often posited as a fundamentally oppositional stranger or enemy. The Other represents that which is outside the Self, an exteriority that determines the boundaries separating Self from the world.

In presenting a conception of what the Self is not, the Other also functions ...

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