Fall Update

The progress I’ve been able to make over the last few months has been limited by major capstone projects, graduate applications and finals and I’m very excited to be able to devote more energy to my project over break. Over the past few months I’ve been meeting with my advisor and professor about the future directions for my research. Based on this feedback, I’ve been working on writing a draft of my data analysis section and going over my draft of my literature review to address theoretical gaps.

Currently, I am studying definitions and theories of oppression to supplement the understanding of oppression I use in my research. Before leaving campus, I read Social Dominance: An Intergroup Theory of Social Hierarchy and Oppression, which brought together psychological, sociological, and evolutionary theories of oppression, and plan on reading Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed over break. I also read Iris Marion Young’s 1988 essay “Five Faces of Oppression,” which is quickly becoming a very important text to my research. Young’s essay discusses the term “oppression” as used by new left social movements of the 1960s and 1970s to describe social and political experiences of injustice. I was surprised to learn that before these movements, oppression was not a term that most Americans, even social and political philosophers, would have used or understood in relation to contemporary society. This relatively recent embracing of the word “oppression” makes understanding what the word means to other scholars an even more important goal for my project.

I apologize for the brief update. I have a lot of ideas bouncing around right now and I imagine most of you would rather not be bombarded with a lot of conceptual works-in-progress. I hope everyone has a great break and a very happy holidays!

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