The Dialectics of Oppression and Empowerment

James I. Charlton

in Nothing About Us Without Us

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 1998 | ISBN: 9780520207950
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925441 | DOI:
The Dialectics of Oppression and Empowerment

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Dialectics is predicated on something we know intuitively, that everything in life—politics, economics, art and culture, our individual beliefs and our very psyches—is constantly in flux. Dialectics is the best method for understanding oppression because its essence is change and oppression is a changing condition. The opposition to oppression is also a process, a process of recognition, identity, education, and resistance. This chapter notes that the dialectic of disability oppression is as follows: within the impossibility of the real end to disability oppression lies the possibility, even the probability, of significant political and social progress. This chapter concludes by elaborating on oppression in relationship to empowerment, the challenge to build a movement that unites as many people as possible; and oppression in its relationship to liberation and freedom, the ultimate goals of such a movement.

Keywords: disability rights; empowerment; social progress; dialectics; oppression

Chapter.  6431 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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