"The Map is not the Territory"
"I believe that the problem does not consist in drawing the line between that in a discourse which falls under the category of scientificity or truth, and that which comes under some other category, but in seeing historically how effects of truth are produced within discourses which in themselves are neither true nor false"
- Michel Foucault
Language (in Japan) "is viewed less as a tool for self-expression than as a medium for expressing group solidarity and shared social purpose" (Tobin, Wu, & Davidson, 1989, p. 189).
"Language teaching encourages children to express what is socially shared rather than what is individual and personal. Choral recitation and memorization are pedagogical techniques for accomplishing this" (Carson, 1992, p. 41).
[all cited in Kubota, 1999]
A brief and very clear explanation of Essentialism
You can also find brief explorations of the concept of "othering" here and here
Scott Thornbury gives a nice description of Othering as a scholarly and professional practice
Sports Illustrated sparked some discussion over photographs in their recent swimsuit issue. Some argue that these photos propagate stereotypes and reduce "western" and "non-western" people to an essential dichotomy.