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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
is the act of using power to empower and/or privilege a group at the expense
of disempowering, marginalizing, silencing, and subordinating another. Note: Oppression
does not need established organizational support; it can be rendered on a much smaller
individual scale. It is particularly closely associated with
and derived social
systems, wherein identity is built by antagonism to the other. The term itself derives from
the idea of being "weighted down."
] Systematic oppression
The most famous type of oppression in society is the legal system. Anarchists argue that
itself is oppression. Although legal systems control
, they are not
considered oppression because they are for the common good (see
term oppression is primarily used to describe how a certain group is being subordinated
, or societal
. When this is institutionalized
formally or informally in a society, it is referred to as "systematic oppression".
Oppression is most commonly felt and expressed by a widespread, if unconscious,
assumption that a certain group of people are inferior. Oppression is rarely limited solely
to government action. Individuals can be victims of oppression, and in this case have no
group membership to share their burden of being ostracized.
, 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 acted on, or codified into law or other systems. By comparison, in
prejudices are often studied as being institutionalized systems of oppression in some
societies. In sociology, the tools of oppression include a progression of denigration,
; which often generate
, which is used to
against targeted groups and individuals.