Approaches to Theories of Otherness

Approachesto Theories of Otherness

Approachesto Theories of Otherness

Othernessin simple terms means being anyone or anything else that is not I.When thought otherwise, it is often within literary theory context,and in particular post-Colonial and feminist discourse. In thiscontext, however, otherness can be defined as the differences,typical differences that are marked by outward signs such as genderand race. The purpose of this paper is to examine differences betweenfour approaches to theories of otherness in understanding thesedifferences are constructed by human beings. In addition, the paperwill also give explanation on the types of differences evident invisual media.

Definitionand Differences of the Four Approaches

Linguisticsis the study of language. This study as three aspects namely:Language meaning, language form, and language in context. On theother hand, sociolinguistics is defined as descriptive study ofeffects resulting from use of language in the society. The differencebetween the two is that sociolinguistics aims to seek and describevariations of choices between dialects, languages, or styles amongthe people, and their associations. Linguistics on the other hand, isa study in which culture and language are considered inextricableintertwined. It is viewed as a kind of social action that createsindividual racial worlds.

Culture is defined as complex whole that includes belief, knowledge,morals, art, customs, law, and any other habits and capabilities byhuman being as part of the society. Psychoanalytical on the otherhand is the method of therapy that originated from Sigmund Freud,whereby free association, analysis of resistance, dreaminterpretation and transference are made to explore unconscious orrepressed impulses, internal conflicts, and anxieties.

Inthe four approaches, visual media presents a difference that comes tofore in cultural studies in different ways. In linguistics, from thekind of approach that is associated with Saussure and language use asa model on the manner in which culture work, the argument here isthat “difference” matters due to its essentiality to the meaning,and without it, the difference could not exist. It is difference ofbetween white and black that determines which carries the meaning.Sociolinguistics is of the argument that is needed for the“difference” since in visual media, it can be only be used toconstruct dialogue through dialogue with “other”. Thirdly,culture is argued depending on giving objects meaning by sectioningthem into different positions within the classification system. Themark of “difference” here is thus the basis of the symbolic orderknown as nature. Finally, the explanation is based on psychoanalysisand it relates to the role of psychic “difference” in our life.Here, the “other” is fundamental to self-constitution to we theobjects and to sexual identity.

Racialdifferences that are represented in visual media is hard tocomprehend without first understanding various cultural, linguistic,psycholinguistic, and socio-linguistics approaches that facilitatesthere their expressions. Yet there is little surprising analysis ofthe manner in which race and culture differences are represented inthe popular culture. As much as research has been carried out inregard to the role of visual media in curving out our racial images,there is little discussion of other approaches to theory ofotherness, in which the approaches has helped to reduce racialimagery that happens in the media today.

Forinstance, a good example on the manner new visual media started toimpact on the questions of race can be viewed with the development ofthe cinema. The power of the film in representing racial issues hassince become evident on a clear stage. Another differencerepresented by visual media during the current period is the visualculture role in reproduction of images of race. The difference comesabout by the illustration of recent studies of the Africans andAmericans changing images in visual media.