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Writing Postcolonial Histories of Intercultural Education


Edited By Heike Niedrig and Christian Ydesen

Bringing together a group of international researchers from two educational sub-disciplines – «History of Education» and «Intercultural Education» – the contributions to this volume provide insights into the (pre-)history of intercultural issues in education across a vast range of historical, national-geographical and political contexts. The anthology takes its readers on a fascinating journey around the globe, presenting case studies from Asia, Africa, Europe and America. The coherence of the journey is found in recurring themes and questions, such as: How does the discourse on «multiculturalism» or «intercultural learning» construct the norm and the Others in these educational settings? Who has the power of definition? And what are the functions and effects of these processes of Othering?


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Oscar Thomas-Olalde / Astride Velho: Othering and its Effects – Exploring the Concept


Othering and its Effects – Exploring the Concept Oscar Thomas-Olalde and Astride Velho, University of Innsbruck, Austria Othering has been established as key concept of postcolonial theory, and as such it has also found entry into critical analyses of racism. In this context, Othering is defined as a process in which, through discursive practices, different subjects are formed, hegemonic subjects – that is, subjects in powerful social positions as well as those subjugated to these powerful conditions. To arrive at such an ana- lytic description, however, some measure of abstraction is required, because Othering denotes simultaneously both the features of discourse structures and processes, and the formation of subjectivity engendered by such discourse. Our contribution focuses on ways in which these two moments constitute each other. In specialised discussions, but increasingly within everyday communication as well, the term Othering is used to refer to phenomena of stereotyping and ra- cialisation. This incorporation of the term into everyday language runs the risk of diminishing the analytic precision of the concept. Therefore we have em- barked on a quest for theoretical insights and connections that have been funda- mental in the development of the concept Othering. Our objectives are, first, to delineate a number of relevant theoretical approaches, and second, to ponder the analytical potential and effects of the concept. Based on the psychoanalytical concepts of Jacques Lacan, the term Othering was re-coined by Gayatri Chakra- vorty Spivak in the context of postcolonial theory, and since then it has been widely applied, in particular...

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