The Logic Of Oppression During The Era Of Colonization

1937 WordsDec 4, 20168 Pages
Logics of Oppression Since the era of colonization, oppressors would attempt to stifle descent by either completely wiping out or altering the history and experiences of the colonized. As a result, a curtain of collective indifference was created that effectively rendered certain groups of people as invisible, and deemed their experiences and suffering as irrelevant. The Romans referred to this tactic of structural violence as domnatio memoriae or “condemnation of memory”. In modern-day terminology, medical anthropologist Paul Farmer refers to this tactic, in his essay “An Anthropology of Structural Violence”, as “erasure or distortion of history [that] is part of the process of desocialization necessary for the emergence of hegemonic accounts of what happened and why” (308). Because erasure is “[the] sleight-of-hand relied upon by the architects of structural violence”, it is imperative that we understand how erasure can manifest itself within the minds of so many in society. That is perhaps one of the primary motives that Helena Maria Viramontes had as she wrote the coming-of-age novel, Under the Feet of Jesus. In fact, Viramontes contextualizes erasure to the narrative of migrant farm workers in America by revealing the subtle deployment of this form of structural violence upon the laborers. Although, she takes Farmer’s concept of erasure one step further and asserts that erasure is
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