This article explores the elaboration of differences through the use of concepts of categories and policies with regard to the Other in France, Germany and the United States. It analyses three approaches in the definition of Otherness: The first one is interactive, that is the interaction between states and groups in search of political recognition. Through interactions one can measure the dynamics and the mechanisms of boundary construction and justify its legitimacy The second approach is normative. It is based on justice and equality as means of recognition. And the third approach is political. It is based both on empirical reality and normative perception and leads to institutional adjustments. All the three approaches come to show how explicitly or implicitly how an element of identity becomes a "permanent difference", and is perceived ad the main source of cleavage in one society; and how this difference change from one society to another but also it switches over the time within one society.


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pp. 79-100
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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