‘Othering’, Theodicy and Social Influence: An Ontological Deliberation – Julie Reich

Posted by: on Jan 28, 2010 | 3 Comments

Augustine’s contributions to the theory of original sin embody a deterministic view, insinuated as a result of the causal relationship between the root of evil and its human origin. Specifically, Augustine uses the Garden of Eden to demonstrate the appearance of evil resulted from the onset of human creation. In my opinion attributing responsibility to an out-group, or Othering creates an internal conflict commonly acknowledged within the discipline of Social Psychology as cognitive dissonance.

Do personal narratives heal? – Julie Reich

Posted by: on Dec 13, 2009 | No Comments

The expression on my mother’s face was one I rarely see: a withdrawn, discomfited and coy blank stare. The incapacity to conceal an uncomfortable repulsion only reveals itself when forced to face her Jewish heritage. As if facing a mirror imposes on her reflection, facing memories related to her culture and religion are painfully avoided. She calls it: “opening the floodgates”. Ironically, the attempt to evade her relationship with Judaism only reinforces an inescapable bond it; in my opinion, a familiar response to memories of experiences related to evil and suffering. In particular, her silence and suppression manifest as coping mechanisms, and emphasize the identity she wishes to reject. Ironically, in her case a memory usually triggers a narrative; emerging from the depths of the unconscious is a desire to tell. In this case, it was after I mentioned my film selection for independent study in a summer course: “Sophie’s Choice”. The floodgates had been opened.