Introducing Anti-Oppressive Theories for Practice
Popular understandings of ‘oppression’ tally with dictionary definitions of the word as ‘the exercise of power in a tyrannical manner; the cruel treatment of subjects, inferiors; the imposition of unjust burdens’ (The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Vol II, 1967, p. 1376). These definitions depict a binary division between peoples: those who oppress and those who are oppressed. And, they focus largely on the interpersonal interaction between these two groups. Useful as these insights into oppression are, they are inadequate for painting a full picture of oppression: how it works; how it is experienced; how it is reproduced; and how it might be resisted and eradicated.
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