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Oppression & Privilege:
Transcript of Oppression & Privilege:
Understanding Power in
a Multicultural Society
The systematic subjugation of a group of people by another group of people with access to social power, the result of which benefits one group over the other and is maintained by social beliefs and practices. Because oppression is institutionalized in our society, target group members often believe the messages and internalize the oppression. (Schmidt, 1994)
The Four I's of Oppression
The core the idea that one group is somehow better than another, and in some measure has the right to control the other group.
Dominant group is seen as more intelligent, harder working, stronger, more capable, more noble, more deserving, more advanced, chosen, superior, and so on.
The target group is seen as stupid, lazy, weak, incompetent, worthless, less deserving, backward, inferior, and so on.
The idea that one group is better than another group and has the right to control the other gets embedded in the institutions of the society--the laws, the legal system and police practice, the education system and schools, hiring policies, public policies, housing development, media images, political power, etc.
What are some examples of institutional oppression?
The idea that one group is better than another and has the right to control the other, which gets structured into institutions, gives permission and reinforcement for individual members of the dominant group to personally disrespect or mistreat individuals in the oppressed group.
Most people in the dominant group are not consciously oppressive. They have internalized the negative messages about other groups, and consider their attitudes towards the other group quite normal.
What are some examples of interpersonal oppression?
Oppressed people internalize the ideology of inferiority, they see it reflected in the institutions, they experience disrespect interpersonally from members of the dominant group, and they eventually come to internalize the negative messages about themselves.
How can internalized oppression be addressed in the therapeutic relationship?