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False Consciousness

Definition

False consciousness is defined as the holding of false or inaccurate beliefs that are contrary to one's objective social interests and that contribute to the maintenance of oppression or unjust inequality in society. According to this usage, the disadvantaged (e.g., poor people, the working class, women, and oppressed minorities) possess false consciousness when they genuinely come to believe that they are inferior, deserving of their subordinate role in the social hierarchy, or entirely incapable of taking action against the causes of their misery. Members of advantaged groups are said to possess false consciousness when they genuinely come to believe that they are superior, deserving of their privileged role in the hierarchy, or that what is good for them is good for everyone. Extensive sociological and ...

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