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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, , . Exploring African Philosophy of Difference
2020, In: Imafidon, E. (ed.) Handbook of African Philosophy of Difference. Cham: Springer, 15-30
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Björn Freter

Abstract: It is the tradition of philosophy as a rational and critical human activity across borders to isolate specific human ideas both as syntax and as real and lived human experiences, bring them to the foreground, and make them occupy a crucial and specialized place in philosophical discourse. This is apparent in the many delimited branches of philosophy such as metaphysics – an inquiry into the fundamental principles underlying reality; epistemology – an inquiry concerning the nature, scope, and theories of human knowledge; axiology – an inquiry into the theories of human values; and philosophy of science – a critical examination of the nature, methods, and assumptions of science. African philosophy has thrived and flourished in the last six decades beginning as a reactionary scholarship to prior denial of the possibility of its existence, to becoming an established academic discipline. However, African philosophy although succeeding in establishing its general nature, themes, and problems, is still at the elementary stage of discussing specifics and delimiting its areas of inquiry into specialized fragments. Thus, beyond the general commentaries on African philosophy in existing literature, it is only recently that we find a few scholars writing and laying the groundwork on specialized themes in African philosophy such as African ethics, African epistemology, and African ontology. My goal in this chapter is to bring one essential human experience to the foreground in African philosophy as a specialized area of inquiry. The human experience that interests me here is the ubiquitous concept of difference and the peculiarities of its experience by Africans in Africa and beyond. My intention is to attempt a preliminary sketch of the meaning, nature, scope, and primary tasks of African philosophy of difference. I show, for instance, how African philosophy of difference can shift the discourse of difference from empirical manifestations of difference to an exploration of the theories that stands under such manifestations. I conclude that African philosophy of difference is crucial in understanding and dealing with the complex issues of identity, difference, and the other experienced in Africa in areas such as albinism, xenophobia, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, and politics. The possibility of such an inquiry also indicates the prospect of delimiting African philosophy to more specialized spheres of discourse.

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Jimoh, Anselm Kole, , . Justice and the Othered Minority. Lessons from African Communalism
2020, In: Imafidon, E. (ed.) Handbook of African Philosophy of Difference. Cham: Springer,
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Björn Freter

Abstract: There are minority groups in every human society, which are often leftovers of the “one” major group of persons within such society viewed as the self-contained group that has nothing to do with the “other” minority groups. The Other is conventionally seen as a threat to the one. Othering within societies invariably results in the exclusion of the Other from the one. By Othering, we mentally or practically classify an individual or group as “not one of us” and, therefore, inferior or less a human person than we are, a process of casting another person, group, or object into a position or role different from mine or ours, and I or we consequently establish my or our identity in opposition to the Other person in a relationship of superiority that allows me or us vilify the Other. Through Othering, we create a system of social exclusion that systematically blocks the Othered minority individual or group from rights and opportunities that are fundamentally the prerogative of all. Hence, issues of justice for the Othered minority naturally arise. This is manifested in the xenophobic treatment of African foreigners in South Africa and Christian minority groups in the mainly Muslim North of Nigeria. The socially excluded is confined to the fringe of society as the minority, whose basic and fundamental rights become privileges by virtue of the Otherness. This chapter critically analyzes and evaluates the manner of othering and exclusion of minority groups in African societies. My primary concern is to examine the role of African communitarian theory in the face of Othering in African societies. I argue that our constant awareness and acknowledgment of our commonness beyond self-contained groups ensures justice and equity in our interpersonal relationships in any human society.

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