Othering—word of the day

There is a much clearer understanding of where division and othering leads.

Word of the day (and weekly writing prompt, if you like) is a fairly new one, “othering”. Some of you will be enraged by this neologism—OK, word rage can be a satisfying workout.

The quote above comes from a newspaper commentary on the Christchurch massacre of Muslim worshippers (from Stuff.com.)

Do we need this word?  It means, according to Oxford Reference:

a set of dynamics, processes, and structures that engender marginality and persistent inequality across any of the full range of human differences based on group identities. Dimensions of othering include, but are not limited to, religion, sex, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status (class), disability, sexual orientation, and skin tone.


…and age. I used to other old people without realising it. And now I am one.

9 thoughts on “Othering—word of the day

  1. mpardi2013 says:

    An excellent and timely choice. It captures in a word the process the Trump administration hopes to instill in the American public, beginning at home.

  2. I’m OK with this word, but not with the behavior.

  3. Cathy Cade says:

    I never even knew it was a word.

  4. “Ageism” – the only socially accepted “ism” left. The othering of those of us beyond a “certain age” is being challenged finally – the Boomers have changed all kinds of socially accepted language and behaviors and assumptions. I like the term – othering. It has been around from forever. We’re just fairly recently beginning to apply the moniker to ourselves. It is sobering when I find it in myself! Thank you for putting it out there in plain view, Rachel!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Mothering without the M. The opposite of good mothering for sure.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      A sad reflection.

  6. Su Leslie says:

    Thank you: a new word to me, and one I know I will use.

  7. anne leueen says:

    I like this word. It is a useful one. I have heard previously about something odd or out of place or slightly disturbing being referred to as “other”. So this use of it as a verb makes sense to me.

  8. oh no…sounds like someone who came from some place else…and not a verb but a noun/object…kind of thing