Terminology Tuesday: Critical Consciousness

In light of recent events, I figured it might be appropriate to discuss some terminology I was introduced to during my graduate program – critical consciousness.

Critical Consciousness

Paulo Freire was heavily involved in discussions and research related to social relations, and indicated that dominant social relations or statuses were more often than not directly correlated with a culture of silence, wherein individuals at a lower social relation or status feel oppressed by the the inability to speak up or be heard. This realization is classified as “critical consciousness” – the individual realizes that the dominant social relations are creating this culture of silence. Now, I don’t necessarily think this is true in today’s society – folks seem to be a lot more outspoken than they once were, but there is still oppression occurring everywhere. Most of us likely encounter at least one small inkling of it every single day.

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