Thrownness is an English translation of the German word 'Geworfenehit', a word with the meaning and connotation of a kind of alienation that human beings struggle against what is. It leaves a paradoxical opening for freedom.

This concept, theorized by German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), purports that as human beings we are "thrown" at birth into a world (class, nationality, gender, etc.) that we have no control over and must learn to cope with. It further purports that, after being "thrown" into a world that is not of own choosing, we then have to learn to navigate the challenges that come with that world: frustrations, sufferings, demands, social conventions, and ties of kinship and duty. These challenges, and how we cope with them or rise above them, ultimately becomes our identity.

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