Beyond Adaptation: Decolonizing Approaches to Coping With Oppression

Nia L. Phillips, Glenn Adams, Phia S. Salter

Abstract


How should one respond to racial oppression? Conventional prescriptions of mainstream social psychological science emphasize the idea of coping with oppression—whether via emotional management strategies that emphasize denial or disengagement; problem-focused strategies that emphasize compensation, self-efficacy, or skills training; or collective strategies that emphasize emotional support—in ways that promote adaptation to, rather than transformation of, oppressive social structures. Following a brief review of the literature on coping with racism and oppression, we present an alternative model rooted in perspectives of liberation psychology (Martín-Baró, 1994). This decolonial approach emphasizes critical consciousness (rather than cultivated ignorance) of racial oppression, a focus on de-ideologization (rather than legitimation) of status quo realities, and illumination of models of identification conducive to collective action. Whereas the standard approach to coping with oppression may ultimately both reinforce and reproduce systems of domination, we propose a decolonial approach to racism perception as a more effective strategy for enduring prosperity and well-being.

Keywords


liberation psychology; discrimination; oppression; coping; critical consciousness

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https://doi.org/10.5964/jspp.v3i1.310

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Citations:

  • Glenn Adams, Sara Estrada-Villalta, Luis H. Gómez Ordóñez (2018)
    The modernity/coloniality of being: Hegemonic psychology as intercultural relations
    International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 62, p. 13(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2017.06.006
  • Johanna Ray Vollhardt, Michelle Sinayobye Twali (2016)
    Emotion-Based Reconciliation Requires Attention to Power Differences, Critical Consciousness, and Structural Change
    Psychological Inquiry, 27(2), p. 136(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1080/1047840X.2016.1160762
  • Johanna Ray Vollhardt, Rashmi Nair (2018)
    The two-sided nature of individual and intragroup experiences in the aftermath of collective victimization: Findings from four diaspora groups
    European Journal of Social Psychology, 48(4), p. 412(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2341
  • Shose Kessi, Floretta Boonzaier (2018)
    Centre/ing decolonial feminist psychology in Africa
    South African Journal of Psychology, 48(3), p. 299(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0081246318784507
  • Susan Saegert (2019)
    Epistemological and other injustices
    Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 13(6)
    https://doi.org/10.1111/spc3.12467
  • Glenn Adams, Ignacio Dobles, Luis H. Gómez, Tuğçe Kurtiş, Ludwin E. Molina (2015)
    Decolonizing Psychological Science: Introduction to the Special Thematic Section
    Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 3(1), p. 213(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.5964/jspp.v3i1.564
  • Laina Y. Bay-Cheng (2015)
    Living in Metaphors, Trapped in a Matrix: The Ramifications of Neoliberal Ideology for Young Women’s Sexuality
    Sex Roles, 73(7-8), p. 332(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-015-0541-6
  • Justin A. Lang, Lonnie Yandell (2019)
    Diversity Language as System Maintenance: Toward Alternative Frameworks for Addressing Racism at Predominantly White Institutions
    Christian Higher Education, 18(5), p. 343(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1080/15363759.2018.1517621
  • Glenn Adams, Tuğçe Kurtiş, Luis Gómez Ordóñez, Ludwin E. Molina, Ignacio Dobles Oropeza (2018)
    Decolonial Pedagogy, Chapter 3, p. 35(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-01539-8_3
  • Irmelin Gram-Hanssen (2019)
    The role of flexibility in enabling transformational social change: Perspectives from an Indigenous community using Q-methodology
    Geoforum, 100, p. 10(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2019.02.001
  • Priyadarshani Raju, Debra Stein, François Régis Dushimiyimana (2018)
    Today’s Youth and Mental Health, Chapter 19, p. 341(ff.)
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-64838-5_19



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