Internalized oppression

In social justice theory, internalized oppression is a concept in which an oppressed group uses the methods of the oppressing group against itself. It occurs when one group perceives an inequality of value relative to another group, and desires to be like the more highly-valued group.

Members of marginalized groups may have an oppressive view of their own group, or affirm negative self-stereotypes. Internalized oppression may manifest on an individual or group level, and may result in conflict or discrimination within the group.[1]

It may also exist among immigrants and their descendants. If the host community devalues a foreigner's ethnic origin, native language or culture, an immigrant may feel inferior. This can lead to self-hatred, which manifests itself in an exaggerated conformity to dominant norms. An immigrant may also respond by assimilating and acculturating.[2]


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