Oppression


Oppression
Oppression derives from the concept of being weighted down, and is often depicted as such. Here, a cartoon Jew labors under the metaphorical oppression of the Russian Tsar

Oppression is the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner.[1] 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.[citation needed]

Contents

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." [2]

Systematic oppression

Anarchists and other libertarian socialists argue that police and law themselves are oppression. The term oppression in such instances to refer to the subordination of a given group or social category by unjust use of force, authority, or societal norms 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 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, 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, 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, and demonization; which often generate scapegoating, which is used to justify aggression against targeted groups and individuals.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the concept of "human rights" 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. More subtle forms of political oppression/repression can be produced by blacklisting or individualized investigations such as happened during McCarthyism in the United States.

Transnational systems of oppression include colonialism, imperialism, and totalitarianism, and can generate a resistance movement to challenge the oppressive status quo.

Internalized oppression

In sociology and psychology, 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

Indirect oppression

Indirect oppression is oppression that is effected by psychological attack, situational constraints or other indirect means. It has been a popular tactic practiced in single power[clarification needed], power monopoly or other authoritarian or totalitarian regimes.

Resistance

Several movements have arisen that specifically aim to oppose, analyse and counter oppression in general; examples include Liberation Theology in the Christian world, and Re-evaluation Counselling in the psychotherapeutic arena. Modern-day groups that actively oppose oppression include Ligali, a British African organization headed by civil rights activist Toyin Agbetu.

See also

References

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.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • oppression — [ ɔpresjɔ̃ ] n. f. • déb. XIIIe; plur. « violences, dommages » XIIe; lat. oppressio 1 ♦ Action, fait d opprimer. Oppression du faible par le fort. ⇒ domination; joug. Oppression des minorités. Absolt Action de faire violence par abus d autorité.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • OPPRESSION — (Heb. עָפְרָה), an offense against property, standing midway between theft and robbery and fraud and often overlapping with either of them. The injunction, rendered in English as Thou shalt not oppress thy neighbor (Lev. 19:13), really means… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • oppression — op·pres·sion /ə pre shən/ n: an unjust or excessive exercise of power: as a: unlawful, wrongful, or corrupt exercise of authority by a public official acting under color of authority that causes a person harm b: dishonest, unfair, wrongful, or… …   Law dictionary

  • Oppression — Op*pres sion, n. [F., fr. L. oppressio.] 1. The act of oppressing, or state of being oppressed. [1913 Webster] 2. That which oppresses; a hardship or injustice; cruelty; severity; tyranny. The multitude of oppressions. Job xxxv. 9. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • oppression — mid 14c., cruel or unjust use of power or authority, from Fr. oppression (12c.), from L. oppressionem (nom. oppressio), noun of action from pp. stem of opprimere (see OPPRESS (Cf. oppress)). Meaning action of weighing on someone s mind or spirits …   Etymology dictionary

  • Oppression — (lat.), Unterdrückung, Beklemmung (z.B. der Brust); oppressīv, unterdrückend; opprimieren, unterdrücken, bedrücken …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • oppression — [n] misery, hardship abuse, abusiveness, autocracy, brutality, calamity, coercion, compulsion, conquering, control, cruelty, despotism, dictatorship, domination, fascism, force, forcibleness, hardness, harshness, injury, injustice, iron hand*,… …   New thesaurus

  • oppression — Oppression, Oppressio …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • oppression — [ə presh′ən] n. [OFr < L oppressio] 1. an oppressing or being oppressed 2. a thing that oppresses 3. a feeling of being weighed down, as with worries or problems; physical or mental distress …   English World dictionary

  • oppression — (o prè sion ; en vers, de quatre syllabes) s. f. 1°   État de ce qui est oppressé.    Terme de médecine. Oppression des forces, état dans lequel le malade, loin de manquer de forces, est embarrassé de leur excès ; c est ce que l on observe au… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré


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