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ERIC Number: EJ991822
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-0790-8040
An "Other" Perspective: Emancipation in Alterity?
Breen, Majella
Adult Learner: The Irish Journal of Adult and Community Education, p115-124 2012
The old adage "no news is good news" is particularly true of the portrayal of Travellers in the media in general. The quality of otherness is relevant to the status of Travellers. For example, when a member of the Traveller community becomes seriously ill, their extended community rallies round. This has been known to cause alarm among health professionals when a large number of Travellers flood a waiting room in a hospital. That a group of individuals who are trying to be supportive can be perceived as a threat can be explained in the context of "othering." It is not uncommon for those who have been identified as "Other" e.g. women, Travellers, people with disabilities, gay people and all marginalised people to suffer from internalised oppression. Internalised oppression is based on real fear. It is not surprising that individual Travellers fear negative treatment. This article looks at the bases of those fears, and explores where the negativity comes from. The author outlines the stereotyping that is perpetuated in the media in general, and how education has a central role in challenging these myths and stereotypes. The author's positioning to discuss this issue is located in her own experience as "The Other." In this article, she explores the concept of otherness or alterity and discusses the potentiality of the concept in challenging stereotypical norms and the ways in which this positioning provides her with a singular vantage point. She looks at examples of educational approaches, from the back to education and training programme underpinned by adult education principles derived from Freire (1972) and Noddings, (1984) and the UL initiative, on the integrated framework. She considers the possibilities of otherness, and finally, on her own experience of alterity, which has enabled her to reflect on why she does what she does and how the notion of embracing otherness has been a personal motivation. (Contains 1 figure and 1 footnote.)
AONTAS The National Adult Learning Organisation. 2nd Floor, 83-87 Main Street, Ranelagh, Dublin 6, Ireland. Tel: +353-1-406-8220; Tel: +353-1-406-8221; Fax: +353-1-406-8227; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland