The Role of Knowledge Production in Oppression and Liberation Essay

The Role of Knowledge Production in Oppression and Liberation Essay

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Knowledge is the foundation of a civilization. Civilization is an organized order in which people coexist by sharing common laws, beliefs, and customs. It is regarded as the advanced stage in human social development and it is upheld by a combination of elements. These elements include but are not limited to education, language, and the unspoken agreement between participants and its administrators. Using the works of Freire, Jordan, and Mills, this paper will explore the function of knowledge production in civilization, and how administrators wield it as a tool to maintain the status quo and preserve the hierarchical order of social, political, and economic systems.
By having this role of maintaining the status quo and preserving the power structure of a civilization, the production of knowledge simultaneously becomes the driving force of the cycle of oppression. Oppression, both a historical and political concept, is brought on by the establishment of a civilization and is carried on within that establishment. While criticizing the idea of objective knowledge, Freire, Jordan, and Mills each come up with their own revolutionary solution to tearing down the system of oppression and inaugurating a new age of liberation. Freire addresses a new style of education as a means to reform the system while Jordan puts forth the question of whether or not we must replace “the passive voice from our democracy… with our own mighty and conflicting voices” in order to transcend the system of oppression (Jordan 232). Mills, on the other hand, suggests we acknowledge our ignorance and consent to misrepresentation, which has only perpetuated the system of oppression. Although all three educational thinkers pinpoint crucial tools that ar...


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...of oppression. In order to free ourselves from this cycle, we must alter the very tools used by the powerful to perpetuate the system of oppression. Out of all the factors that contribute to the maintenance of oppression, Education plays the most extensive role in preserving a hierarchical order. This is because education is the vehicle by which knowledge is produced and attained. Freire’s “co-intentional” education would contribute to the struggle for liberation the most out of all other factors.



Works Cited


Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Trans. Myra Bergman Ramos. New York:

Continuum, 2000. Print

Jordan, June. "Problems of Language in a Democratic State." Some of Us Did Not Die: New and

Selected Essays of June Jordan. [U.S.]: Basic/Civitas, 2002. 223-32. Print.

Mills, Charles W. The Racial Contract. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1997. Print.

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