The Clothes I Wear
Perceptions of ‘otherness’ are a normal part of human development; as they mature, children move from a focus on themselves to an understanding of their place within groups, and learn to conform to group norms and to distinguish between “friends and foes (see Tajfel & Turner’s work on Social Identity Theory). Preferences for one’s own group and the perception that it is better, more competent and stronger than other groups can lead to prejudice if perceived differences of out-group members are seen as a threat to the in-group’s culture, politics or economic status. In particular, perceived cultural differences between immigrants and the dominant culture may serve as a barrier to positive intercultural relations. Differences in ethnic dress accentuate perception of difference. This video brief is meant to be used as a way to stimulate discussion on the ways that clothing furthers perceptions of “Otherness”.