A Reflection of “Global Others”

The idea of certain groups of people being “others” seems like an outdated concept. In Exit West, every time Nadia and Saeed traveled to another place they entered feeling as outsiders. They would then often meet other migrants who’s feelings reflected their own. This communal awkward feeling is unnecessary and benefits no one. Even at the end of the novel, when the old woman was reflecting on her life that she had spent in one house she decided, “We are all migrants through time” (Hamid 209). A woman, who watched the block around her change throughout her life, knew that although the people who lived there were from other parts of the world, they were no different than her. As all people are technically “global others” to each other there is no need for this distinction as it only creates separation. While it is important that maintaining a distinction between groups of people is important for various reasons, the negative connotation that is associated with the word “other” creates a harmful hierarchical separation between those who are viewed as “native” versus “other”. All people, at one point or another will be considered as “others” and experience this outdated hierarchy. Although a distinction between people should be made, it should be based on feelings of pride and security, not fear or hate.

6 thoughts on “A Reflection of “Global Others”

  1. Evelyn R

    I think this is especially super last year under trump with the wall and migration being a large issue. Especially that people where putting themselves over the ‘migrants’ saying they needed to go back to their own country. But we as Americans are migrants aswell we stole this land from the indians, we are actually all migrants. To deny another migrants freedom is a double negative, and isn’t a legitamate claim.

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  2. Tao Tao S.

    I completely agree that the term “other” should not be confused with “native” and sets up as a negative connotation altogether. Do you think the word “other” will ever be removed in regards to a word to describe someone in an unfamiliar place?

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  3. Sarah K

    I agree that the concept of refugees being seen as others is out dated. These days almost every large country in the world is a melting pot of migrants from other countries. When you look like at the United States in specific, the country was founded on immigrants and migrants. So instead of shutting refugees out and treating them as the other, we should let them in an integrate them into society so countries can continue to grow.

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  4. CAIT O.

    I agree that using the word “other” brings a negative connotation into the whole concept of an outsider. An outsider may not be an outsider for long but by labeling them as an “other”, we are giving them a stamp that may bring more difficulty to remove.

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  5. Alex P

    I agree of how outdated of a concept it is. Especially during these past couple of years the media has put so much negative attention on migrants when they bring so many positive aspects to our country.

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  6. Grace W

    I agree that the word “other” is a very dividing term and does more harm then good. Describing someone as an outsider can make them feel more alone than they really are. I really liked your last line of creating a distinction of people through feelings of pride, not fear or hate.

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