Oppression
Overview
Oppression is the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner. It can also be defined as an act or instance of oppressing, the state of being oppressed, and the feeling of being heavily burdened, mentally or physically, by troubles, adverse conditions, and anxiety.
Oppression is a popular topic in debates, such as in the QDU league in secondary schools.
The systematic; socially supported mistreatment and exploitation of a group or category of people by anyone.
"Institutional Oppression occurs when established laws, customs, and practices systematically reflect and produce inequities based on one’s membership in targeted social identity groups.
Encyclopedia
Oppression is the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner. It can also be defined as an act or instance of oppressing, the state of being oppressed, and the feeling of being heavily burdened, mentally or physically, by troubles, adverse conditions, and anxiety.
Oppression is a popular topic in debates, such as in the QDU league in secondary schools.

Social oppression

The systematic; socially supported mistreatment and exploitation of a group or category of people by anyone.

Institutionalized oppression

"Institutional Oppression occurs when established laws, customs, and practices systematically reflect and produce inequities based on one’s membership in targeted social identity groups. If oppressive consequences accrue to institutional laws, customs, or
practices, the institution is oppressive whether or not the individuals maintaining those practices have oppressive intentions."

Systematic oppression

Anarchists
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

 and other libertarian socialists
Libertarian socialism
Libertarian socialism is a group of political philosophies that promote a non-hierarchical, non-bureaucratic, stateless society without private property in the means of production...

 argue that police
Police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

 and law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

 themselves are oppression. The term oppression in such instances to refer to the subordination of a given group or social category by unjust
Justice
Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics; justice is the act of being just and/or fair.-Concept of justice:...

 use of force
Force
In physics, a force is any influence that causes an object to undergo a change in speed, a change in direction, or a change in shape. In other words, a force is that which can cause an object with mass to change its velocity , i.e., to accelerate, or which can cause a flexible object to deform...

, authority
Authority
The word Authority is derived mainly from the Latin word auctoritas, meaning invention, advice, opinion, influence, or command. In English, the word 'authority' can be used to mean power given by the state or by academic knowledge of an area .-Authority in Philosophy:In...

, or societal norms
Norm (sociology)
Social norms are the accepted behaviors within a society or group. This sociological and social psychological term has been defined as "the rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. These rules may be explicit or implicit...

 in order to achieve the effects noted above. When institutionalized, formally or informally, it may achieve the dimension of systematic oppression. Oppression is customarily experienced as a consequence of, and expressed in, the form of a prevailing, if unconscious, assumption that the given target is in some way inferior. Oppression is rarely limited solely to formal government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 action: an individual may be the particular focus of oppression or persecution and in such circumstances have no group membership in which to share, and thus maybe mitigate, the burden of ostracism.

In psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

, racism, sexism and other prejudices are often studied as individual beliefs which, although not necessarily oppressive in themselves, can lead to oppression if they are codified in law or become parts of a culture. By comparison, in sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

, these prejudices are often studied as being institutionalized systems of oppression in some societies. In sociology, the tools of oppression include a progression of denigration, dehumanization
Dehumanization
Dehumanization is to make somebody less human by taking away his or her individuality, the creative and interesting aspects of his or her personality, or his or her compassion and sensitivity towards others. Dehumanization may be directed by an organization or may be the composite of individual...

, and demonization
Demonization
Demonization is the reinterpretation of polytheistic deities as evil, lying demons by other religions, generally monotheistic and henotheistic ones...

; which often generate scapegoating, which is used to justify aggression
Aggression
In psychology, as well as other social and behavioral sciences, aggression refers to behavior between members of the same species that is intended to cause humiliation, pain, or harm. Ferguson and Beaver defined aggressive behavior as "Behavior which is intended to increase the social dominance of...

 against targeted groups and individuals.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly . The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled...

 and the concept of "human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

" in general were designed to limit oppression by giving a clear articulation of what fundamental freedoms any system should allow to all of the people over whom it has power.

When oppression is systematized through coercion, threats of violence, or violence by government agencies or non-government paramilitiaries with a political motive, it is often called Political repression
Political repression
Political repression is the persecution of an individual or group for political reasons, particularly for the purpose of restricting or preventing their ability to take political life of society....

. More subtle forms of political oppression/repression can be produced by blacklisting or individualized investigations such as happened during McCarthyism
McCarthyism
McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. The term has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from the late 1940s to the late 1950s and characterized by...

 in the United States.

Transnational systems of oppression include colonialism
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

, imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

, and totalitarianism
Totalitarianism
Totalitarianism is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible...

, and can generate a resistance movement
Resistance movement
A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to opposing an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign state. It may seek to achieve its objects through either the use of nonviolent resistance or the use of armed force...

 to challenge the oppressive status quo.

Internalized oppression

In sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

 and psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

, internalized oppression is the manner in which an oppressed group comes to use against itself the methods of the oppressor. For example, sometimes members of marginalized groups hold an oppressive view toward their own group, or start to believe in negative

Resistance

Several movements have arisen that specifically aim to oppose, analyse and counter oppression in general; examples include Liberation Theology
Liberation theology
Liberation theology is a Christian movement in political theology which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions...

 in the Christian world, and Re-evaluation Counselling
Re-evaluation Counseling
Re-evaluation Counseling or RC is an organization founded by Harvey Jackins in the 1950s and led by him until his death in 1999. It introduced a procedure called "co-counseling", which Jackins said was a new and effective method of helping people and bringing about social reform. RC teaches...

 in the psychotherapeutic arena. Modern-day groups that actively oppose oppression include Ligali, a British African organization headed by civil rights activist Toyin Agbetu
Toyin Agbetu
Toyin Agbetu is a British African social rights activist and founder of the Pan-African group Ligali. Agbetu emerged on the international stage on March 27, 2007, during a Westminster Abbey church service held to recognize the 200th anniversary of the abolition of Great Britain's involvement in the...

.

See also

  • Oppressors-oppressed distinction
    Oppressors-oppressed distinction
    Oppressors-oppressed distinction or dominant-dominated opposition, is an influential political argument. One of its first uses was by Hegel in his 1802 The German Constitution, in which he said that "The Catholics had been in the position of oppressors, and the Protestants of the oppressed." Its...

  • Anti-oppressive practice
    Anti-oppressive practice
    Anti-oppressive practice is an anti-oppressive social work practice theory. It seeks to acknowledge oppression in societies, economies, cultures & groups and aiming social work to remove or negate the influence of the oppression.-References:...

  • Authoritarianism
    Authoritarianism
    Authoritarianism is a form of social organization characterized by submission to authority. It is usually opposed to individualism and democracy...

  • Civil rights movement
    Civil rights movement
    The civil rights movement was a worldwide political movement for equality before the law occurring between approximately 1950 and 1980. In many situations it took the form of campaigns of civil resistance aimed at achieving change by nonviolent forms of resistance. In some situations it was...

  • Ethnic cleansing
    Ethnic cleansing
    Ethnic cleansing is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic orreligious group from certain geographic areas....

    • Mass racial violence in the United States
      Mass racial violence in the United States
      Mass racial violence, also called race riots can include such disparate events as:* attacks on Irish Catholics, the Chinese and other immigrants in the 19th century....

    • Mass deportations in the Soviet Union
      Population transfer in the Soviet Union
      Population transfer in the Soviet Union may be classified into the following broad categories: deportations of "anti-Soviet" categories of population, often classified as "enemies of workers," deportations of entire nationalities, labor force transfer, and organized migrations in opposite...

  • Terrible Triangle
    Terrible Triangle
    Terrible Triangle was a term used by Pope Pius XI for the simultaneous persecution of Christians in general and the Catholic Church in particular in three countries: the Soviet Union, Mexico, and Spain. These events are said to have influenced his position on Communism throughout his pontificate...

  • Feminist movement
    Feminist movement
    The feminist movement refers to a series of campaigns for reforms on issues such as reproductive rights, domestic violence, maternity leave, equal pay, women's suffrage, sexual harassment and sexual violence...

  • Intersectionality
    Intersectionality
    Intersectionality is a feminist sociological theory first highlighted by Kimberlé Crenshaw . Intersectionality is a methodology of studying "the relationships among multiple dimensions and modalities of social relationships and subject formations"...

  • Political repression
    Political repression
    Political repression is the persecution of an individual or group for political reasons, particularly for the purpose of restricting or preventing their ability to take political life of society....

  • Police oppression
  • Totalitarianism
    Totalitarianism
    Totalitarianism is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible...

  • Poverty
    Poverty
    Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...


Further reading

  • Guillaumin, Colette. 1995. Racism, Sexism, Power and Ideology. London: Routledge.
  • Hobgood, Mary Elizabeth. 2000. Dismantling Privilege: An Ethics of Accountability. Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press.
  • Young-Bruehl, Elisabeth. 1996. The Anatomy of Prejudices. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Noël, Lise. 1994. Intolerance, A General Survey. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.bany, NY: State University of New York Press.
  • Smith, Morgan. 2008. Why I stick it to the man, and why you should too. New York: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Omi, Michael and Howard Winant. 1994. Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s. New York: Routledge.
  • Feagin, Joe R. and Hernan Vera. 1995. White Racism: The Basics. New York: Routledge.
  • Pincus, Fred L. 1999 and Howard J. Ehrlich, eds. 1999. Race and Ethnic Conflict: Contending Views on Prejudice, Discrimination, and Ethnoviolence. Boulder, Colo.: Westview.
  • Beck, Aaron, M.D. 1999 Prisoners Of Hate. New York: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Solzhenitsyn, Alexandr, "The Gulag Archipelago," Harper and Row, 1973
  • Kiernan, Ben, "The Pol Pot Regime: Race, Power, and Genocide in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, 1975-79," Yale University Press, 1996
  • Cudd, Ann E. 2006. Analyzing Oppression. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Deutsch, Morton. 2006. A Framework for Thinking about Oppression and Its Change. "Social Justice Research", Vol. 19, No.1, March 2006, pp. 7–41.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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