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Nations & Nationalities Lecture 18

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Courtney Thomas

on 4 April 2016

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Transcript of Nations & Nationalities Lecture 18

Nations & Nationalities
Lecture 18

Reification of the Other
In the reification of otherness
Modernist categories grounded in binary oppositions
Become established in ways that purport to explain, understand, and interpret difference
But along the lines of naturalized, fixed, and frozen determinations
That reject the possibilities of freedom and transcendence on the part of those representative of otherness and difference

The Logic of Illogic
In reification individuals attempt to compensate for their own feelings of inadequacy and confinement
The logic of illogic in the reification of otherness emerges as a doctrinaire way
Of reasserting oneself as powerful
Especially when compared to those subordinated on the basis of differences
Grounded in modernist binary oppositions
The logic of illogic in the reification of otherness
Represents a series of cultural propositions
That justify the projection of one’s own sense of inadequate freedom
Onto others that become essentialized objects of contempt, disgust, rage, and hate

The Consequences of Projection
The consequences of projected reifications are painful and poignant when range attaches to projected forms of reified hate
Supremacist Violence
Domestic Abuse
Mass Murder Shootings
Lynchings
Hate Crimes )
Human Rights Abuses
Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing
The Projection
Many cannot live perpetually in a sea of self-contempt, self-disgust, and self-denial
Having reified themselves as objects of contempt they seek the reification of others as a “comfort” against their own sense of inadequate “cosmic self worth”
They thus project contempt, disgust, rage, and hatred upon others on the basis of naturalized, concretized, and determinist categories of reified “otherness”
Sometimes they do this as individuals and sometimes they do it as members of groups

Projection as Reified Hate
Reification of otherness denies human capacity to go beyond socially constructed determinist notions that reduce personhood to “thingitude”
Thus reification represents a conceptual way of understanding modernist categories that define otherness in ways that transform features and markers of difference into
Racism, ethnicism, classism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and other forms of hate

In the reification of others we project our contempt for our own situated freedom onto those representative of difference
Projected reification fraudulently elevates oneself as compensation for or relief from one’s own sense of inadequacy
While subordinating those representative of difference
In a false concreteness that denies the reified Other their freedom and thus their capacity for individuality

The Fallacy of False Concreteness
Stereotypes
Stereotypes operate across modernist societies as a form of projected reification
Stereotypes represent the moment when cultural construction and projected reification meet
In stereotyping individuals become defined in terms of reified “them”
Individuals exist but only as models of those “contemptable” features of difference that reaffirm the stereotype

Willed Inferiority
Reification thus represents an attempt to impose a willed inferiority onto those representative of otherness
At this juncture cultural constructions become particularly relevant—WHY? Because reification attaches to the fixed and frozen categories of modernism
That stereotype, naturalize, universalize, and demonize difference
On the basis of a logic of illogic that lumps all who share specific material markers together
Full transcript