Psychology Of Oppression

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Liberation psychology aims towards people achieving freedom from power structures of oppression, but the discipline has in the past, not given much attention to oppression and its effects. Nevertheless, some theories and approaches have been put forward to bring attention to oppression and social domination. In the following essay, I will firstly discuss the psychology of oppression by using three main approaches namely: authoritarianism, social identity theory and social domination theory. I will then discuss the psychological consequences of oppression for the oppressed and the oppressor as well as possible forms of resistance against oppression and its effects.
The psychology of oppression
Firstly, authoritarianism is the tendency to submit
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The formation of social identities, ‘us’ and ‘them’, was seen as the key ingredient in group domination. Importantly, SIT goes beyond mere describing the status quo; it actively theorises strategies of resistance, ranging from redefinition of social identities to physical rebellion. The central argument of SIT is that change requires transformed relations between groups, not within individuals, and social change involves collective activity. This theory has some weaknesses in that it does not provide a sufficient account of ideology or of power, and it is inadequate in explaining gender- or class relations.
Thirdly, the social dominance theory (SDT) is a general intergroup theory of social hierarchy and oppression. Sidanius & Pratto (1999) argue that there are three basic systems of disproportionate social power based on age, gender and arbitrary-set systems. Dominance is driven by three main processes:
 Aggregated individual discrimination, which refers to daily, quite inconspicuous individual
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While some were seeing strength and uprising, others in the 1960s saw the origins of damage thesis in blacks themselves – definitely a contested decade.
There are different ways of theorising the resistance to oppression. Since the 1970s there has been heaps more evidence on the damage thesis, but there have also been sustained efforts to revise and reformulate the ‘mark of oppression’ claim. At the core of this revision has been an effort to restore a more positive conception of oppressed people, to emphasise pride, solidarity and activity. Rather than offering a passive conceptualisation of subjectivity. Revisionist theories also produced arguments and research which emphasised coping, buffering and protective processes of the self and oppressed communities.
Bulhan (1985) gave a synthesis of the revisionist thesis in terms of three major forms of psychological defence and identity development among oppressed
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