Community of Those Who Have Nothing in Common

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"Biesta (2004) in a wonderful article “The community of those who have nothing in common: Education and the language of responsibility” (Interchange 53/3:307-324) quotes Bauman (1995) who warns that all communities create ‘strangers’ – those who do not fit the epistemological or ontological maps of those on the ‘inside’. Communities either force strangers to become assimilated into the meta-narratives on which these communities are based; or excommunicate these who do not ‘fit’. Bauman (in Biesta 2004) calls the assimilation of the ‘other’ “anthropophagic” which literally means “man(sic)-eating” – transforming those who are assimilated into undistinguishable (and accepted) members of the community.

When strangers or those who do not ‘fit’ into or accept the founding meta-narratives of a community are excommunicated, they are banished and vomited out – which Bauman calls an “anthropoemic” approach.

Peaceful coexistence between communities is often (mostly?) based on a careful balance of interests and power/benefit relations." (