The Importance Of Oppression In Society

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Oppression is the foundation of several serious issues in the world today and in the past. Nelson Mandela gave a good insight to the powerful weight of oppression when he said, “When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.” A global phenomenon that I have seen is the oppression of the sick and the elderly. Whether or not it is intentional or unintentional, both groups have a high tendency of being marginalized and excluded from full participation in society. The oppressive phenomena around the world may seem very similar, however, each one is culturally bound and varied. In the case of Greece, the sick and elderly have been marginalized and denied full participation in society through oppressive measures as seen in events such as the isolation of lepers to the island of Spinalonga and the Greek economic and health crises. Lee Ann Bell’s “Theoretical Foundations” discusses the overarching theme of the oppression of individuals and groups of people. Bell breaks down oppression into levels including individual, institutional and social/cultural. All three levels can be correlated with the oppressive phenomena of the treatment of the sick and elderly. On the social/cultural level there are culturally bound stigmas that can be associated with both the sick and the elderly. Some of oppressive cultural values are societal beliefs in the definitions of good and evil, health and sickness. The social/cultural level on the

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