Philosophy in the Contemporary World 4 (1/2):41-47 (1997)
Enquiry into the relationship between kinds of oppression raises several possibilities. Perhaps there are multiple yet distinct oppressions. If this is so, are there philosophical relationships among them? What are the theoretical distinctions between racism and sexism, for example. The question raised here has to do with the philosophical structure of social dominance, rather than the discrete manifestations usually based on distinct target groups. Although the characteristics of peoples who are targets of each of the individual kinds of oppression are different, and even though many people are multiply oppressed, there is good reason to question the underlying assumption that each form of oppression is fundamentally separate and distinct from the others. There are many deep correspondences shared by specifically focused theories of oppression. It is plausible to suggest there is a single phenomenon called oppression. Perhaps there is only one monster with several heads, rather than many monsters hiding in our communal closet
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