Negative Imitation

When a person tries to establish difference from the rival and takes the rival as a model but in a way in which imitation is inverted and becomes the mirror image of the model. For instance, if the rival wears black shirts, the imitator will wear white shirts. Most people think of imitation as doing the same thing as a model. In mimetic theory, imitation seems means that one’s behavior is based off the choices of a model—whether that imitation comes in a positive form (leading to the same things) or a negative form (leading to difference things). In both forms, the imitator’s choices are directly shaped by the model. Negative imitation usually happens because the imitator wants the same things as the model but doesn’t want to admit it; therefore, he differentiates himself on a superficial basis through negative imitation of external things: different clothes, different preferences, or maybe a different manner of speaking. Negative imitation often happens between rival political factions. If one of them uses a certain term to describe something, the other will refuse to use the same word due to negative imitation. (Consider the debate in the United States about whether to refer to the same terrorist organization as ISIS or ISIL, each side disguising its negative imitation behind intellectual-sounding rhetoric.)