The linguistics in othering: Teacher educators’ talk about cultural diversity


  • Anne Birgitta Nilsen
  • Sandra Fylkesnes
  • Sølvi Mausethagen



‘Othering’ can be conceptually defined as the manner in which social group dichotomies are represented in language via binary oppositions of ‘us’ and ‘them’. The article aims to contribute to a methodological approach for differentiating the concept of othering in educational settings. We will introduce new ways of conceptualising othering based on findings from an empirical critical discourse analytical study of how teacher educators talk about the term ‘cultural diversity’. The study is based on transcriptions of interviews with Norwegian teacher educators. The findings illustrate that teacher educators talk about cultural diversity using seven different ways of othering. These ways of othering are important because teacher educators’ discourses influence preservice teachers, in turn, influencing their future teaching in schools. We argue that a critical linguistic awareness of the ways in which pupils are ‘othered’ is an important tool in counteracting social exclusion and promoting social justice and equity.


How to Cite

Nilsen, A. B., Fylkesnes, S., & Mausethagen, S. (2017). The linguistics in othering: Teacher educators’ talk about cultural diversity. Reconceptualizing Educational Research Methodology, 8(1).