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Race, Identity, Stereotyping and Voluntary Opression

Author: ROKSANA ALAVI
Published in GVER, Vol. 6 No. 1

Many immigrants and their children ask themselves the question of identity. Often we allow others to identify us and colonize our consciousness. Once we are “given” our identities, we are then stereotyped because of them. We then reap the benefit, or the disadvantages of our stereotypes. In turn social stereotypes that surround us, further shape our self-identity and consequently, the decisions we make. If we have no other outlet or if we feel as though there are no other options, we live those stereotypes. Some are harmful to us and leave us in the disadvantages places even to oppression of ourselves. In this paper, I discuss some harms of stereotyping, how it leads to voluntary oppression, and make some suggestion for ending racial oppression.

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