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Transcript of Oppression
Juliana, Carissa, Lia, and Jasmin
Activity "Take a Walk in MY Shoes"
Introduction to the concept of oppression
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
What did you think of the activity? Does anyone want to share their thoughts?
What did you think about the labels before the activity began?
How did you feel about your ranking?
How did it feel to embody someone elses oppression?
So how did this project impact us individually?
Intro to Oppression
"The unjust or excessive exercise of power or position that hurts, maligns, or disempowers others" (Humphrey &Alcorn)
Oppression can be explained as the belief of superiority that results in unfair treatment given to those who are deemed lesser/ insignificant.
Types of Oppression
- one person offends, puts down, or deals unfairly to another individual
- directed to all members of a group because they are categorized as part of an inferior, undesirable group (generalizations)
- negative attitudes towards the minority are transmitted through schools, media, etc. This leads to all members of the society sharing a negative categorization of oppressed group members.
Overt forms of oppression are open and observable, not secret or hidden. The target of overt oppression is very aware of the intention and action of the oppressive act, and of the oppressive person or group.
Interviewee: Dr. Anita Small
Cycle for Anti-Oppression Analysis
Who are we?: placing ourselves
naming: what is happening?
analysis: why is it happening?
strategy: what are we going to do about it?
outcome: what happened as a result of what we did?
How do I demonstrate anti-oppression?
I accept leadership from Deaf people
I take the risk in relating to Deaf people
I hold high expectation for Deaf people
I continually educate myself and other about Audism
I am able to identify Audism when it is happening and I will take action to try to stop it. Not by exposing a person of their oppression but by stepping in and acting different and that way setting an example.
*The goal of this activity was to bring oppression to life and put it before your eyes in a concrete form. Obviously oppression is not this visible in society. *
Deaf individuals belong to a minority group; members of the hearing majority don't view Deaf people as equal. They are not acknowledged as people simply because they do not have the ability to hear. Many have experienced the medical community attempting to "fix" them and are not given the same access to information or opportunities (such as jobs or even finding an apartment) as hearing people.
I am a black, christian woman (double minority) from a low income family, I am hearing and able bodied, currently in college but only with a high school diploma.
Before this project I did not know what intersectionality was, I had never heard the term. So through studying this topic I have expanded my knowledge to realize how intersectionality plays a role in my life and how I am considered a part of the minority and majority.
I understand what it means and feels like to belong to a minority and as part of the hearing majority I must use my power/privilege to help other minority groups fight oppression.
Co-Founder and past Co-director of
The Deaf Culture center
small LANGUAGE CONNECTIONS
Currently a visiting researcher at
Hogeschool Utrecht University of Applied Sciences and the Institute for Sign Language & Deaf Studies
" it is not for me to consider myself an ally, [but] its for deaf people to decide whether or not I am an ally"
Competence vs. Humility
Minority vs. Majority
Lack of awareness
" its the small things that we do that we need to reflect on and change because they build up to something worse - Oppression"
Humphrey, J., & Alcorn, B. (n.d.). Cultural Frames: Schemas, Beneficence and Audism. In So you want to be an Interpreter? (4th ed., pp. 109-127). H&H Publishing.
Building Connections: An Anti-Oppression Dialogue - FIT Community Services - COPYRIGHT - FIT COMMUNITIES
Zimmer, Kyra. In AVLIC News Vol. 24 No. 2. The Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada. Access Copyright.
refers to the way race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, education, class, spirituality/religion, age, hearing vs Deaf, able bodied vs disabled, mental health, immigration status etc, join together to oppress people.
These identity markers connect to form an interlocking system of oppression.
are attitudes, beliefs, feelings and assumptions about a target group that are widespread AND socially sanctioned. Can be positive and negative, but all have negative effects. Stereotypes support the maintenance of institutionalized oppression by seemingly validating misinformation or beliefs.
is favorable or unfavorable opinion or feeling about a person or group, usually formed without knowledge, thought or reason. It can be based on a single experience, which is then transferred to or assumed about all potential experiences.
Participating in this group presentation was very grounding. Sometimes when I look around at people I just look at them as "just another person", but it is important to recognize their life context.
Especially as an individual who wants to work in the helping profession I need to be cognizant of how oppression may play a part in their lives.
I also liked coming to an understanding that being a member of the majority and minority is dependent on context- for example attending my first Deaf event.
"If I could give you only one piece of advice about oppression it would be this: When someone tells you that you are being oppressive please believe them. While you may not understand it yet, or may not be able to see the person's perspective, you need to accept the feedback. Becoming defensive and denying the feedback perpetuates the cycle of oppression and weakens strained relationships."
After completing this project it helped me to better realize the ways I am oppressed and also how I may be oppressing others without being conscious of my actions.
This has opened my eyes to how people are viewed based on their gender, race, age, hearing ability, citizenship, etc.
We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred, is a wedge designed to attack our civilization.
Characteristics of "Benefactors" (Oppressors)
Most people do not consciously hurt or oppress others. People believe themselves as benefactors, doing "what is best" for "poor folks". This is typically referring to those who have different cultural, economic or group norms.
Characteristics of "Benefactors" or Oppressors
Pejorative view of the minority group
- feel that being different than the "ideal" (overweight, poor, blind, deaf, etc.) is bad
Reciprocity of perspectives
- the result of seeing the world from your own frame, and assuming members of different groups want to be like your own (result in a "fix-it" mentality)
Members of group are innocent/childlike
- they are incapable of knowing what is best for them and need others to help make decisions and take care of them
- desire to take members of the minority group "under their wing", assuming a "knowing-it-all" or "take-charge" stance
- expectation that minority group members should make regular expressions of appreciation and gratitude for all of the help given
Fear freedom movements
- angry reaction when minority group members try to change the power balance