Glossary of Terms

Discrimination and social prejudice against people with disabilities. Ableism characterizes persons as defined by their disabilities and as inferior to the non-disabled
Active listening:
A process of hearing and understanding what someone is saying by empathizing with the speaker(s) and considering their perspective(s)
Prejudiced thoughts and discriminatory actions, such as treating someone as weak or unintelligent because they are not adults; usually those of older persons against younger persons
Affirmative action:
Action taken by a government or private institution to make up for past discrimination in education, work, or promotion on the basis of age, birth, color, creed, nationality, ethnic origin, physical or mental ability, familial status, gender, language, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation
Prejudiced thoughts and discriminatory actions, such as referring to someone’s age in a context in which age isn’t relevant, based on differences in age; usually those of younger persons against older persons
The ability to act independently and make free choices; the ability to make conscious decisions for oneself
A member of a dominant or majority group
An active verb; leveraging personal positions of power and privilege to fight oppression by respecting, working with, and empowering marginalized voices and communities; using one’s own voice to project others’, less represented, voices
The process of adapting or adjusting to the culture or behaviors of a dominant or majority group or nation
An inclination of preference, especially one that interferes with impartial judgment
A person who functions effectively and appropriately and can select appropriate behaviors, values, and attitudes within either of two cultures; a person who identifies with two cultures
An economic and political order that relies on a mostly-private, unequal market system of production and consumption
A gender identity in which a person’s experiences of their gender matches the gender and sex they were assigned at birth
A socially constructed assumption that everyone’s gender matches their assigned sex, and that that is the norm from which all other gender identities deviate
Civil rights:
The rights established and ensured by a state government regarding political and social equality
Any attitude or institutional practice which subordinates people of a certain socioeconomic class due to income, occupation, education, and/or their economic status; a system that works to keep certain communities within a set socioeconomic class and prevents social and economic mobility
The conscious or unconscious act of ‘switching’ between two languages, dialects, or intonations depending on the specific situation of who one is speaking to, what is being discussed, and the relationship and power and/or community dynamics between those involved
The exploitative historical, political, social, and economic system established when one group or force takes control over a colonized territory or group; the unequal relationship between colonizer and the colonized
A term referring to the disregard of racial characteristics. Proponents of color-blind practices believe that treating people equally inherently leads to a more equal society and/or that racism and race privilege no longer exercise the power they once did, while opponents of color-blind practices believe that color-blindness allows those in power to disregard or ignore the history of oppression and how it is experienced today.
Cultural appropriation:
Relates to the use of art, artifacts, symbols or anything that extends to and beyond the tangible. Anything that has or is of cultural significance to a minority or a non-dominant group of peoples by a person who is not in that group. It is especially dangerous when it is adopted by an oppressive group because it comes into conjunction with Capitalism and how an oppressive group will historically try to capitalise (not just monetarily e.g. Kylie Jenner via brand image) and profit off a minority group's culture.
Cultural competence:
The ability to effectively and empathetically work and engage with people of different cultural identities and backgrounds in order to provide safe and accountable spaces for dialogue and discourse; cultural competence is relevant in all fields of work, education, and informal social interactions
A bi-directional conversation between people of two different groups or communities coming together to create and recreate multiple understandings of a topic or issue
The dispersion of a group of people who live outside their homeland due to an historical event that caused them to flee or which forcibly removed them from their homelands into new regions: such as, Africans as a result of the trans-Atlantic slave trade
Being differently abled (physically, mentally, emotionally) from that which society has structured to be the norm in such a way so that the person is unable to move, or has difficulty moving—physically, socially, economically—through life (see ableism)
Being deprived of power and/or access to rights, opportunities, and services
Actions or thoughts, based on conscious or unconscious bias, that favor one group over others (interpersonal. See: prejudice)
A multiplicity of shared and different individual and group experiences, values, beliefs, and characteristics among people
The situation in which all people or groups are given access to the correct number and types of resources for them so as to achieve equal results; differs from equality, which focuses on the equal distribution of resources rather than equal results
Consciously or unconsciously privileging one’s own ethnic group over others; assuming or judging other groups according to one’s own group values
The process and product of the cultural default of Whiteness. 2. The utilization of European cultural standards as universal standards that all should be judged by. 3. To orient to European people and cultures as the benchmark of: humanity, culture, truth, virtue, style, beauty, civility, knowledge, and ethics; a deification of European people and their culture
(Intersectional) Feminism:
The pursuit of the social, economic, and political equality of all people, regardless of sex, gender, sexuality, race, geographical location, body size, socioeconomic status, physical and mental ability, and religion
Fundamental attribution error:
The often unconscious bias to place more emphasis on perceived internal or innate characteristics to explain someone’s behavior in a given situation; doesn’t take into consideration the external factors that can, and often do, impact an individual’s behavior
Gender (institution):
The socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and characteristics that a given society categorizes as ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’; not defined by one’s biological sex
Gender identity:
A person’s individual and subjective sense of their own gender; gender identities exist in a spectrum, and are not just masculine and feminine
Gender neutral pronouns:
Pronouns that do not adhere to the he/she and his/her binary, and can refer to a number of different gender identities
The intentional attempt to completely erase or destroy a peoples through structural oppression and/or open acts of physical violence
Demographic shifts that usually occur in big cities in which upper-middle class and/or racially privileged individuals and businesses move into historically working class and poor and/or racially oppressed neighborhoods and communities
One group or community holding all authoritative power or dominance over other groups in a given society, geographical region, and/or political system
A socially constructed assumption that heterosexuality is the natural norm from which all other sexual preferences deviate; the assumption that everyone identifies as heterosexual until shown or proven otherwise
On a personal level, homophobia is an irrational fear, aversion, or dislike of homosexualities and people who identify as homosexual; on a social level, homophobia is the ingrained structural discrimination against homosexuality and those who identify as homosexual that prevents access to certain resources or opportunities and inhibits individuals from feeling safe or able to be socially recognized as homosexual
Horizontal hostility:
The structural strategy to intentionally place two or more oppressed groups in competition with one another; a strategy that aims to divide and conquer
Horseshoe Theory:
Based on the shape of a horseshoe, it proposes that the right and the left are more similar to one another than the center. It applies this approach to political ideologies of the left wing and right wing ideologies.
A person who moves out of their country of birth, for permanent/temporary residence in a new country
Any established law or custom that is accepted as part of a culture
Institutional oppression:
The systematic mistreatment and dehumanization of any individual based solely on a social identity group with which they identify that is supported and enforced by society and its institutions; based on the belief that people of such a social identity group are inherently inferior
The study of intersections between different oppressions that loarder over race, gender, and socio-economic classes. Intersectionality aims at including and actively acknowledging the experiences of minority women and the differences that come with each perspective.
The establishment or determination of rights according to rules of law and standards of equity; the process or result of using laws to fairly judge crimes and criminality
The umbrella community of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning, intersex, and/or asexual. Also see: LGBTQIA+, QUILTBAG, GSM, MOGAI, etc.
The systematic disempowerment of a person or community by denying access to necessary resources, enforcing prejudice through society’s institutions, and/or not allowing for that individual or community’s voice, history, and perspective to be heard
Subconscious and often self described “well-meaning” actions or remarks that convey an unconscious bias and hurt the person at the receiving end
The ability to move through society, both physically and socioeconomically
Model minority myth:
The use of Asian-Americans as an example for what proper mobility in a society should be and what it should look like. It is commonly used to disparage African-American or black communities without taking into consideration the multi-faceted aspects of racism and upward mobility.
A person who identifies as coming from two or more ethnic groups; a person whose biological parents come from different ethnic groups
A person who identifies as coming from two or more racial groups; a person whose biological parents come from different racial groups
Prejudiced thoughts or discriminatory actions that benefit or show preference to individuals born in a territory over those who have migrated into said territory
A strategy employed by social and civil advocates that stresses social and political change through acts that do not involve physical violence against oneself or others; nonviolent language is used to imply language that does not perpetuate structural inequalities
Normative Power:
Power exerted on an individual by a controlling group to conform to that group's norms of behavior. See: Heteronormativity, Cisnormativity
The systemic use of institutional power and ideological and cultural hegemony, resulting in one group benefiting at the expense of another; the use of power and the effects of domination
A social system and institution in which men have primary power in the political, social, economic, legal, and familial spheres; patriarchy favors male-dominated thought, and is centralized on the male narrative or perspective of how the world works and should work
People of color (PoC):
An umbrella term for any person or peoples that is considered by the society in which they live to be that are mostly non white but also white passing as well.
The practice of having multiple open, honest love relationships.
A preconceived, often unconscious, judgment or opinion about a person or group; usually a negative bias
Benefit, advantage, or favor granted to individuals and communities by unequal social structures and institutions
An umbrella term within the LGBTQA community that refers to anyone who doesn’t prescribe to societal views of gender and sexuality; implies elasticity and a resistance to the notion of a predetermined gender and sexual identity based on biology
Someone who is questioning their gender identity and/or sexuality
A term used to to identify and define individuals as part of a distinct group based on physical characteristics and some cultural and historical commonalities; once used to denote differentiations in humankind based on physiology and biology, race is now understood as a social construct that is not scientifically based, though is still commonly associated with notions of biological difference.
An ideology and institution that reflects the racial worldview in which humans are divided into racial groups and in which races are arranged in a hierarchy where some races are considered innately superior to others; racism is the effect of domination of certain racial groups by other racial groups, historically the domination of people of color by white/European peoples
To take back or demand the return of something that was lost or taken away; to restore to a previous state. (Add context of slurs)
Giving consideration and attention to a given person, group, or situation that takes another’s perspective and experiences into account
Reverse oppression:
A commonly held belief in cisgender, white, male dominated spaces that claims the actions of protest, dissent, and derailment of societal norms is an act of oppression against the predominant/majority.
Safe(r) space:
Spaces in which people, often of marginalized or underrepresented social groups, attempt to cultivate a space where they can say, be, and share their experiences without fear or judgment
Characteristic of a feature that is made prominent, important, or is brought to the forefront of a person’s social identity and how they are perceived by others
The conscious or unconscious act of excluding or inhibiting certain groups’ voices, thus preventing their experiences, perspectives, and histories to be heard
An insulting or derogatory comment, reference, or label (history of use as a tool of?? Oppression or smth)
Social justice:
The practice of allyship and coalition work in order to promote equality, equity, respect, and the assurance of rights within and between communities and social groups
Unity or agreement based on shared interests and objectives; long-term mutual support within and between groups
An attitude, belief, feeling, or assumption about a person or group of people that are widespread and socially sanctioned; though stereotypes can be positive and negative, they all have negative effects because they support institutionalized oppression by validating oversimplified beliefs that are often not based on facts
The superiority of one group of people over other groups of people through a system of domination and subordination
Acceptance and open-mindedness to cultures, practices, and attitudes that are different from one’s own; does not necessitate agreeing with those differences
A gender identity in which a person’s experiences of their gender does not match the gender and sex they were assigned at birth
Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERFS):
Individuals that identify as feminists who hold the negative belief that women are only considered “real women” if they were born with what they deem/argue are biologically female sex organs and whom support classical notions of a gender binary.
Unconscious bias:
Negative stereotypes regarding a person or group of people; these biases influence individuals’ thoughts and actions without their conscious knowledge. We all have unconscious biases.
White guilt:
The individual or collective guilt felt by some white people for the historical and current oppressions experienced by people of color; though white guilt has been described as being a detrimental consequence of racism, experiences associated with white guilt are not comparable to the experiences of systemic oppression faced by marginalized communities
White privilege:
An advantage provided to people who are considered white; an exemption of social, political, and/or economic burdens placed on non-white people; benefitting from societal structuring that prioritizes white people and whiteness
Like race, whiteness is a social construct rather than an essential characteristic or biological fact; is used as cultural property, and can be seen to provide material and/or social privilege to those who are considered white, pass as white, or are given honorary white status
The unreasonable fear or dislike of things, cultures, forms of expression, or people that are different from oneself and one’s own experiences of the everyday; fear of that which seems foreign or strange