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Relational Cultural Theory - Essay Example

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Running head: RELATIONAL CULTURAL THEORY Integrating the concepts of relationship or alliance from the work of the RCT theorists, Somaly Mam's writings and Freire's work Date Relational cultural theory (RCT) emanates from the work of Jean Baker Miller and is integrated into the feminist and multicultural movements in psychology…
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Download file to see previous pages The theory is primarily focused on women and their relational experiences; like the experiences narrated by Somaly Mam (2009). On the other hand, Paolo Freire (2000) presents the methods and principles of teaching that an individual should cultivate based on daily life situations that provide useful learning experiences. This essay is aimed at integrating the concepts of relationship or alliance from the works of relational cultural theorists based on Somaly Mam’s and Paolo Freire’s works. According to relational cultural theorists, inequality is social and personal, and for this case; men belong to the dominant group while women belong to subordinate group. Interestingly, both men and women experience, psychologically, the sense of inequality. This is in line with Freire’s position that both the oppressor and the oppressed are dehumanized. For this case, the oppressed women should establish their own center independent of man, and derive their own power through connection with other women and people of good will. Miller highlights, in his book, the fact that social strength in women is so weak that it robs them an opportunity to attain full empowerment. As per Miller’s Relational cultural theory, women should not ignore other women when they fit into the world of men. This is the call that Mam harkens to when she goes back to the brothels of Cambodia to liberate sex slaves and embanks on exposing the moral underbelly behind commercial sex industry. By writing about her experiences as a microcosmic picture of the experiences of million girls, Mam is seeking for real progress highlighted by Miller. The theory is clear that women should not become like men, but the society should seek humanization and allow integration of women’s strength on a larger scale (Jordan et al., 1991). In support of this, Freire argued that the oppressed are not liberated by oppressing their former oppressors. Since both the oppressor and the oppressed are dehumanized, any reversal situation will not solve the problem. The oppressed group has always shared some characteristics in their writing and many writers attempt to dispel the false ideas, which have been portrayed about the group (Elster, 2007). The oppressed group characteristics in Mam’s work are a microcosm of what happens to many sex slaves in many parts of the world. According to Miller, there is a tendency by the oppressed writers to prove that the oppressed group is equal to their oppressors and; therefore, they should be treated in the same way. As the oppressed group seeks to prove their equality with their oppressors, the writers agree, consciously or unconsciously, with the standards and values of the dominant group. This is because the society constructs a belief that the ways of the dominant and oppressor’s group is the superior method. This false belief is in most cases inculcated by the academic discipline through pressure and for those who deviate or challenge this, supposedly ultimate knowledge are penalized and silenced. This belief is countered by Freire as he posits that oppressed people should seek to build their reality from the circumstances that shape the daily events of their life. It seems clear when Mam states the experiences that made her continue advocating against human trafficking and modern-day slavery. To Freire the texts, which an oppressed individual writes, should analyse the world as it is to him ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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