Oppression is a prolonged unjust or cruel treatment or exercise of authority. It can also be defined as a repeated experience of widespread, systematic injustice. Oppression does not necessarily have to be absolute since civilized oppression is indented in unquestioned norms, symbols, and habits in the assumptions that underline institutions and rules. Elimination of structural oppression usually is hard since it is complicated and might require change of laws or operational procedures. They are systematically reproduced in the economic, cultural and political institutions. Social injustice is generally at the root of any form of oppression with the oppressed being subjected to conditions that are incredibly intolerable for them to bear. There are different forms of oppression that define the social injustices that the oppressed undergo. The primary objective of this paper is to discuss oppression in the context of social injustices.
Social justice is the way in which human rights are manifested in daily lives of people at every level of society. However, the oppressors commonly violate these rights. These violations can be categorized into different social injustices. Some of these prejudices are a distributive injustice, procedural injustice, moral exclusion, cultural imperialism and retributive injustice. Social capital under distributive injustice is the network of social ties (families, classmates, neighbors, etc.) which plays an integral role in information provision and access to jobs and a means of acquiring other forms of capital. It provides one with the link to organizational power, opportunities, and prestige. The are several factors that determine one's social capital such as the social class of one's family, age, physical disabilities, sex, religious groups and sexual orientation. The disabled, low class, minorities, religious or racial group or women have lower chances of acquiring and maintaining social capital as compared to the dominant groups (Sagas & Cunningham, 2005). In relation to racism, the racist will discriminate against the people whom they think their races are inferior to them by denying them job opportunities or disproportionately allocating social capital to them.
Oppression is also experienced in the manner in which operations are carried out. Individuals usually judge the fairness of the procedures that determine the outcome in addition to their assessment of the truth of the outcome. According to Galligan, procedures and fair treatments are very pervasive concerns to most people that results that are fair (1997). Appropriate procedures are very integral to one's psychology since they encourage the assumption that they promote fair outcome. Fair results would not be authentic but when the methods are appropriate to all, honest results can readily be determined, and the process would be acknowledged by everyone. However, some people are not subjected to the standard procedures that everyone should follow, and this ignites the feeling of oppression typically. This lowers one's abilities to commit to authorities, organizations and government rules.
Moral exclusion is also another form of oppression. It refers to a person who is not entitled to fair outcomes and fair treatments by either inclusion or exclusion in one's moral community. Individuals who are not within the boundary in which considerations of fairness apply are treated in ways that are considered unfair. For instance, vilification between the two ethnic groups in Rwanda resulted in the deaths of so many Tutsis. Retributive injustice is also another form of oppression where the people in power break morals at will without being subjected to a proper course of action. For instance, there is a considerable difference between how ordinary robbers and robber barons are treated.
In summary, there are different forms of oppression. They could be as a result of ones race, religion, sex, social class or sexual orientation. Oppression can be in the form of social injustice, moral exclusion, cultural imperialism, distributive injustice. Despite variations in the ways of oppression, the ultimate feeling of the oppressed is the same.
Galligan, D. J. (1997). Due Process and Fair Procedures. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198256762.001.0001
Sagas, M., & Cunningham, G. B. (2005). Racial Differences in the Career Success of Assistant Football Coaches: The Role of Discrimination, Human Capital, and Social Capital. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 35(4), 773-797. doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816. 2005.tb02146.x
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