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Objectifying

 

Techniques > Use of language > Modifying meaning > Objectifying

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Method

Turn things that you wish to criticize or comment on into concrete and separate objects:

  • Turn people into things by talking about them in the third person. Use stereotypes.
  • Turn verbs into nouns, using nominalization.
  • Turn ideas into symbols and metaphors.

Then treat them like things.

Alternatively, you can turn things that you find difficult to communicate into metaphoric objects so you can then communicate and discuss them more easily.

Example

He's one of them.

The evaluation proves that the system is unworkable.

That idea is an absolute gem.

Discussion

Objectifying creates distance, separating you from the thing. This allows you to treat the item as both concrete and separate.

Objectifying ideas makes them concrete and allows you to discuss them and use extensions of the metaphoric world.

Turning actions into things allows you to scrutinize them objectively. It also allows you to distance yourself from culpable actions.

Objectification of people depersonalizes them, making them non-human. This is what we do when we stereotype or classify others. This is a typical predecessor to discounting, downplaying, victimization and bullying.

Therapists may use objectification to help people externalize and discuss their issues.

See also

Nominalization, Objectification

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