Social Question

Paradox25's avatar

What is your definition of oppression when it pertains to humans?

Asked by Paradox25 (10053 points ) January 19th, 2014

I was hoping to hear your opinion in your own words.

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7 Answers

josie's avatar

Are saying that people get to make up definitions, according to whim and without convention?

That’s OK.

Lenin thought that too.

Speaking for myself, I will go with a dictionary definition (Webster’s)

Unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power

Sounds sort of familiar these days

DWW25921's avatar

Well, it means a person has no options. No choices and no way out.

gailcalled's avatar

Living in N. Korea and not being a really good basktetball player. Double Jeopardy if you’re a close relative of the Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un. (Disclaimer; these are my own words)

stanleybmanly's avatar

It’s all relative. And it truly defies definition. Let;s just say that I’m convinced that I know it when I see it,

Kropotkin's avatar

It manifests itself and is only possible wherever there is an imbalance in social power.

I think focusing on oppression alone is a distraction, because one reduces oppression to some moral failure of individuals—corrupt rulers, cruel kings, bad bosses, etc.

However, I think there is very good evidence that oppression is something that emerges systemically. It is a combination of human tendencies in particular institutional contexts, and it is these latter institutional contexts that need the focus—since we can do more about them.

The institutions themselves and the types of social relations they define promote particular values and norms. In this respect, institutions can become self-reinforcing, and patterns of human behaviours—such as the oppression and authoritarian relations we find undesirable—reproduce themselves.

For there to be less oppression, there also needs to be more egalitarian social relations, and institutions which will promote equitable and reciprocal social relations.

The Stanford prison experiment is a notable example of what I’m getting at. Although this is an extreme case, the same sort of authoritarian and oppressive patterns of behaviour can be found in more subtle forms in various other institutions—workplaces, family households, schools, etc.

Paradox25's avatar

Many people, regardless their of sex, gender, race, religion, nontheism, political views, ethnicity, sexuality, etc seem to think they’re oppressed so I wanted to hear the definition from the words of others.

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