Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Julie R. Ancis & Catherine Y. Chang
The concept of oppression has been written about by scholars and educators in various fields. Oppression has been defined as a system that allows access to the services, rewards, benefits, and privileges of society based on membership in a particular group. Oppression involves the abuse of power whereby a dominant group engages in unjust, harsh, or cruel activities that perpetuate an attitude or belief that is reinforced by society and maintained by a power imbalance. It involves beliefs and actions that impose undesirable labels, experiences, and conditions on individuals by virtue of their cultural identity. In the counseling and psychology literatures, the term oppression is often discussed in relation to privilege. Privilege refers to attitudes and behavior that reinforce the notion that one group's beliefs and standards are superior to those of other groups. Systems of privilege and oppression operate in the workplace, education, housing, media, and the legal Fred ...