Date of Award


Document type


Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Program

Education (also CAGS)

First Advisor

Barbara Love

Second Advisor

Maurianne Adams

Third Advisor

Todd Crosset

Subject Categories



Internalized oppression is one of the conceptual foundations of social justice education. Though the literature on internalized oppression is rich with descriptive data, little theory has been developed in this area. To date, the field of Social Justice Education has been limited by this oversight. Drawing upon the work of theorists who have examined this topic across a variety of social identities, this study presents a generalizable framework for understanding and analyzing internalized oppression. More specifically, this research focuses on the internalized oppression of subordinant groups, also known as internalized subordination. The framework presented within this study identifies internalized oppression as having three core components or "defining elements": process, state, and action. It is intended to be used as a foundation and starting point for, rather than in lieu of, the examination of the internalized oppression specific to particular social identities. Further, this framework is intended to benefit both scholars and practitioners of social justice and will aide in the development of methodologies and pedagogies aimed at interrupting internalized oppression and promoting liberatory consciousness.


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