- Who Are Arab Americans?
- Popular Perceptions
- Why The Stereotypes?
- About & Credits
The term “Othering” refers to the processes by which societies and groups exclude those whom they want to subordinate. Othering creates contrasting differences that involves producing narratives and images about a group of people that demonizes or dehumanizes them. It provides the justification to treat these Others as inferior.
Othering is a recurring historical phenomenon that is not unique to Arabs. Various groups, including African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Latinos and white ethnic Americans have been stereotypically represented at different time periods, such as the eras of U.S. colonization and slavery, WWII, and the Cold War.
There are three common ways in which an Other is created. Here we identify three particular ways, animalization, naturalization and infantilization, delineated in Ella Shohat and Robert Stam’s book Unthinking Eurocentrism. By providing a framework of common modes of Othering, our hope is that visitors will be able to more readily identify the process of Othering through these categories.