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The discursive act of making something invisible. Constructing the discourse around it, so that it is not mentioned or seen. When done against a category of people, it can be either a matter of making the people in the category invisible or a matter of misrepresenting those people by invisibilizing a relevant categorization. Thus making the problems these people face either become invisible or wrongfully appear to be their own fault. Often done through silence, suppression techniques, or through using abstractions of categorism to hide or define away a real problem. Making people invisible also make them available to be used, denying their needs so that they can exist only to fulfill the needs of other people. (In Swedish: onsynliggörande)

When applied to a category of human beings, this is a facet of categorism.

Contrast visibilization.


This facet of categorism is an expression of prejudice, bigotry or discrimination.

It is likely to intersect with facets such as:

  • Narrativism: Keeping the narrative narrow, only including certain groups.

As well as with abstractions such as:

  • Categorist distinctions: Constructing the categories so that the invisibilized falls between the cracks.
  • Zero-category: Talking about "everybody", but only truly include the zero-ctegory.

Examples of applying this facet to a particular foci of categorism can include:

  • Misogyny: Talking as if humanity consists only of men.
  • Paraphobia: Arguing that every person's sexual identity is to be "straight, bisexual or gay", thus invisibilizing all sexualities not based on the relationship between one's own gender identity and the partner's gender identity.

Stigmatization in example texts

  • Adam's homophobia: Adam doing Invisibilization on the dogmatic level by promoting a worldview that has no room for gay people. Thus also putting Beatrice in a situation where she is being hurt by structural invisibilization.
  • A frivolous arrest: As interracial kisses turns out to have negative consequences, interracial couples becomes less likely to dare to show their love in public - thus contributing to the existence of interracial couples becoming less visible.