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Appiah, Kwame Anthony, , . Akan and Euro-American Concepts of the Person
2004, In Lee M. Brown (ed.), African Philosophy: New and Traditional Perspectives. Oxford University.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Simon Fokt

Abstract: This essay explores the theories of the person within Western and Akan traditions. It identifies six obstacles to theory comparison. It argues that there may be no non-question begging way of comparing theories since these theories themselves play key roles in understanding how each is to be used.

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Appiah, Kwame Anthony, , . Reconstructing Racial Identities
1996, Research in African Literatures 27 (3):58-72.
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Abstract: The main theoretical gap in In My Father’s House – in the opinion, at least, of its author – is the lack of a proposed alternative to the account of identity in the black diaspora that the book criticizes. The pseudo- biological essentialist account of black identity is, in my judgment, now generally understood to be untenable; what is lacking is an alternative positive account of black identity. In the book I criticized the biological account as a proposed basis for identities in the continent as well: but I offered, in the chapter on “African Identities,” some suggestions for a positive basis for a range of continentally based mobilizations of Africa as what I called “a vital and enabling badge.” But what I had to say about diasporic identities was, to put it kindly, perfunctory. Katya Azoulay’s critique of my work (“Outside Our Parents’ House: Race, Culture, and Identity” in RAL 27.1 [1996]: 129-42) identifies this theoretical gap and rightly draws attention to it. Let me offer at least a sketch of an approach.

Comment: The article follows up on Appiah’s In My Father’s House.
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Chimakonam, Jonathan O., , . Othering, Re-othering, and De-othering. Interrogating the Skolombo’s Fight-Back Strategy
2020, In: Imafidon, E. (ed.) Handbook of African Philosophy of Difference. Cham: Springer, 433-488
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Björn Freter

Abstract: I argue that the phenomenon of “othering”—the stratification of identities into in-group and out-group by the norm and the consequent marginalization of the out-group—has created another problem which can be referred to as “re-othering,” that is, when the victim of othering responds with disidentification strategy to counter identity constructed for them by the norm. I use the context of the residents—the legitimate people in the city of Calabar, Nigeria and the Issakaba—the marginalized other, to show how negative identity construction has been used to discriminate against the homeless poor in the city of Calabar. I explore the conditions that compelled the homeless poor to reconstruct their imposed identity Issakaba to Skolombo and contend that it was a fightback strategy. I then employ a new concept, de-othering, as a conversational strategy that might be able to address the mutually opposing negative identification and disidentification constructions in Calabar specifically and in other places where similar problem emerges.

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Imafidon, Elvis, , . Alterity, African Modernity, and the Critique of Change
2020, In: Imafidon, E. (ed.) Handbook of African Philosophy of Difference. Cham: Springer, 171-189
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Björn Freter

Abstract: A large chunk of the existing literature on African modernity understood here as African experience largely defined and influenced by her contact with the West or foreign cultures has mainly described the modern experience in African spaces as a predicament, an unfortunate distortion of the pre-modern status quo or systems in Africa. In this chapter I intend to explore a perspective for understanding and appreciating the description of the African experience of the West as a predicament, one founded on alterity and difference. I argue that the primary basis for understanding the claim that African modernity is a predicament is to understand the ways in which the one mode of thought or cultural orientation (African) was radically alien from, and different from, the other mode of thought or cultural orientation (Western). Specific cases of alterity between both cultures include moral values, system of education, religion, ontologies, and knowledge production and cognition systems. The African experience of the West could easily become a predicament because the former’s experience of the latter was under compulsion and the latter refused to accept and respect the otherness of the former, but rather painted it as nothing of worth. To explore this line of thought, I begin by examining important texts in the description of the African experience of the West as a predicament. I then proceed to show that these texts can best be understood as emanating from the difficulties that were associated in coping with the difference and changes that came with African contact with the West. I conclude that difference can be a positive force and easy to accept if it is willfully understood and assimilated, but it can become a negative force and a source of frustration if it is imposed on the other by the self or vice versa.

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