Interaction Patterns: Patterns of Domination and Patterns of Resistance [nonprofitquarterly.org]

 

Artemis is a student of power and liberation. As a young girl growing up in a black neighborhood, she learned at an early age to navigate social dangers. She went on to college and then to graduate school, deepening her knowledge and experience of power and liberation. As she moved into the social change field, she realized that the fight for liberation is actually a journey toward enlightenment.

The concept of difference is central to interactions in relationships of inequality. Humans have used differences to value, divide, and structure society—as with race, gender, class, age, and sexuality. One’s relationship to difference impacts one’s interactions, either reinforcing these structures of value, or interrupting them.

The supremacist approach to power offers two options for dealing with difference: ignore it, or view it as cause for separation. A liberatory approach views differences as strengths and entertains interdependence as an option. For the dominant, embracing difference requires one to face one’s fear of the subordinate, the other, and allow oneself to be changed, grow, and be redefined by one’s encounters. For the subordinate, the change that needs to occur in the space between difference and interdependence is a move away from dominant, or supremacist, ways of thinking. These are narratives that position one as powerless.

[For more on this story by CYNDI SUAREZ, go to https://nonprofitquarterly.org...mp;mc_eid=766815b376]

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