• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13

Breaking down the Walls: A Discourse of Ideology and "Otherness"

Extracts from this document...


Eric Flowers EN 411 Dr. Robert Young 6 May 2005 Breaking down the Walls: A Discourse of Ideology and "Otherness" As a critic of not only Multi-Cultural Literature, but also U.S. social philosophies, I have been forced to come to terms with some very alarming truths concerning American society. That is, observing the United States with more of a critical eye as opposed to living as a detached citizen has allowed me to see that the American creed or assertion that it works solely for the freedom and justice of all people is wholly false. From their day of birth, citizens of the United States of America are lead to believe that their country is naturally honorable, compassionate, and caring. Furthermore, the U.S. too pushes itself as a warrior who always fights for "the greater good of all man kind." However, these are all ideas and claims that I find to be visibly and wholly false. I see the U.S. as an oppressor as opposed to a liberator. American citizens only believe that their country is better or more righteous because that is what they learn (or have drilled into their minds) from the first stages of education through graduation of grade school. This is evident in the simplest of routines for all children, the pledge of allegiance to the U.S. flag. Stated philosophically, America's peoples are interpolated. This interpolation allows those who are in power, such as the U.S. government officials and large business owners (basically, controllers of the flow of currency) to plant ideas and beliefs into their people and pass them off as inherent or naturally true. Stated differently, the currency controllers create rules and beliefs that are passed to their citizens as the natural way of life. They create an ideology. This said ideology pushes the U.S. people to mentally and emotionally separate themselves from the members of other countries. ...read more.


This thus proves to be problematic because the ideas, assertions, and/or opinions of those on the outside tend to be skewed or wholly false. Like the three aforementioned critics I too fully agree and assert that studies of the "other" are incomplete as they leave out the attitudes and beliefs of the "other." I too emphasize my belief that Post Modern studies would be strengthened if all who encompassed "otherness" became more than a source of study or critique, but were too allowed to assert their own ideas and attitudes. Mohanty engages gender with regards to western perceptions. In her essay, "Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses," Mohanty aims to break down the western perceptions of third world women as. Mohanty challenges her readers to see that the ways women of third world countries are viewed are merely constructions of outside cultures as opposed to realities. She asserts that all ideas and critiques of the third world woman are merely constructions used to create certain political and ideological feelings towards the woman's country. This is outright stated as Mohanty says, "For feminist scholarship, like most other kinds of scholarship, does not comprise merely objective knowledge about a certain subject. It is also a directly political and discursive practice insofar as it is purposeful and ideological," (Mohanty 192). This same assertion is restated a few pages later as Mohanty says, "What binds women together is a sociological notion of the sameness of their oppression," (Mohanty 200). These are assertions and beliefs that I fully agree with. Like Mohanty, I see the west as a place that situates labels on third world women. I too see these labels as a means of defining not just the women themselves, but an entire country or region. These markers then prove to be problematic as they are used to create specific ideological constructions for those whom are on the outside looking in. ...read more.


As I stated before, this grouping is not fully unnecessary. It creates tidiness. However, the danger behind this grouping will only fall when people acknowledge that it is too possible for those who are outside of the realm of "otherness" to understand and embrace the "other's" subject matter. Section 3: Tearing Down the Walls of "Truth" Richard Wright's attack of ideology proves how America's culture shapes exact roles for people to live by. Like Wright, I see these constructions as dangerous as they lead to the belief that there are clear biological differences between people. It creates "otherness." For Mahonty, hooks, and Henderson "otherness" is a dangerous construction that enables the majority to place social rank among different peoples and groups. Furthermore, each critic argues that all "others" should be given the chance to voice their own opinions with regards to their identity. Each critic also strongly asserts that "otherness" should not place boundaries or labels (whether they be positive or negative). Instead, "otherness" should be merely seen as a means of embracing and understanding someone or something different. These are all assertions that I fully agree with. Until the "other," which is created by ideology, is no longer seen as an inferior being, their will be a severe lack of understanding between different people and groups. I strongly assert that ideologies and "otherness" should as dangerous constructions that should be assailed by any and all citizens. They each hinder people from experiencing and appreciating ideas, passions, themes, subjects, (and eternally on) that are wholly different from their own. This will not happen however, unless all those that encompass "otherness" (as I do myself being a black male) voice the known fact that the identities and labels that have been and will continue to be thrust upon them are iniquitous. Until then, those outside of "otherness" (mainly wealthy whites, and specifically affluent white males) will continue to subordinate, through ideology, all they see as different. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. The Productivity of Colonial Power

    It concerns the paradox at the heart of the civilising mission. On the one hand, imperialism must take its moral justification from the ethical, social and religious inferiority of the colonised. For example, pro-slavery rhetoric included the idea that the slaves were actually being delivered from the godlessness of their 'dark continent.'

  2. This essay is aimed to discuss the meaning of ideology and it different uses ...

    (Iain Mclean 1996 p459). Socialism draw on power of the community rather than the individual effort and this is its central theme, other theme Co-operation, Equality, The satisfaction need and the common ownership. Social inequality objectively speaking refers to the imbalance of economic assets within society, each of the ideologies provide a different perspectives of equality.

  1. Democracy in Colonial Wethersfield, Connecticut

    for the Christian church and it's members, the Document actuality addressing "all Christian people." In the Document I, a Rev. Frothingham had complained about the head of the church being prejudice because he was a Separatist and therefore locked him up in jail for preaching without consent.

  2. Nigeria Country Study

    * General Yakubu Gowon (1 August 1966 - 29 July 1975) * General Murtala Mohammed (29 July 1975 - 13 February 1976) * General Olusegun Obasanjo (13 February 1976 - 1 October 1979) * President of Nigeria (1979-1983) * Shehu Shagari (1 October 1979 - 31 December 1983)

  1. Are we Living in a 'Post - Ideological Society'?

    are present, there will be enough fuel to keep ideological debates alive. The conflict may not be as severe or threatening as previous times, but this is something we should be grateful for and should not serve to devalue present ideological disputes.

  2. Assess critically Marx's distinction between ideology and science

    Yet none of these thinkers thought "to inquire into the connection of German philosophy with German reality."[12] This task Marx set for himself. The Materialist Conception of History Marx began from the premise that ideas are inseparable from the material circumstances of men - that is, of "real individuals, their

  1. Andrew Jackson: Common Man or Common Scoundrel

    In practice, the system was ineffectual and beneficial solely for Jackson's supporters. Jackson only removed 20% of the incumbents and left with his system the subordination of merit for partisan support.

  2. Assess popper's treatment of the problem of induction

    How do we know that the next time we close our eyes we will be able to open them again? The answer that Popper would provide to that is hat his theory is not one that he intends for people to live by.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work