Oppression can refer to an authoritarian regime controlling its citizens via state control of politics, the monetary system, media, and the military; denying people any meaningful human or civil rights; and terrorizing the populace through harsh, unjust punishment, and a hidden network of obsequious informants reporting to a vicious secret police force.
Oppression also refers to a less overtly malicious pattern of subjugation, although in many ways this social oppression represents a particularly insidious and ruthlessly effective form of manipulation and control. In this instance, the subordination and injustices do not afflict everyone—instead it targets specific groups of people for restrictions, ridicule, and marginalization. No universally accepted term has yet emerged to describe this variety of oppression, although some scholars will parse the multiplicity of factors into a handful of categories, e.g., social (or sociocultural) oppression; institutional (or legal) oppression; and economic oppression.
In psychotherapy and psychiatry, a state of mind producing serious, long-term lowering of enjoyment of life or inability to visualize a happy future.
“I used to suffer from depression, but now I’m mostly content with my life.”
An area that is lower in topography than its surroundings.
In psychotherapy and psychiatry, a period of unhappiness or low morale which lasts longer than several weeks and may include ideation of self-inflicted injury or suicide.
An area of lowered air pressure that generally brings moist weather, sometimes promoting hurricanes and tornadoes.
A period of major economic contraction.
Four consecutive quarters of negative, real GDP growth. See NBER.
“The Great Depression was the worst financial event in US history.”
The act of lowering or pressing something down.
“Depression of the lever starts the machine.”
A lowering, in particular a reduction in a particular biological variable or the function of an organ, in contrast to elevation.
The exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner.
The act of oppressing, or the state of being oppressed.
“The oppression of the poor by the aristocracy was one cause of the French Revolution.”
A feeling of being oppressed.
“Our oppression was lifted by the reappearance of the sun.”