Bras. Political Sci. Rev.. 01/Apr/2016;10(2):e0001.

Reading Freedom from the Theme of Oppression

Maria Ligia Ganacim Granado Rodrigues Elias

DOI: 10.1590/1981-38212016000200001

This paper explores a theoretical and political approach to discuss the idea (and ideal) of freedom. This approach is built through a dialogue between different theoretical views, especially Isaiah Berlin’s concept of freedom as non-interference, Philip Pettit’s idea of freedom as non-domination, and Nancy Hirschmann’s constructivist freedom. It sustains that the idea of ‘non-oppression’ is a useful approach to consider freedom in its complexity. Reading freedom from the ‘key’ of oppression allows us to think of not only ‘spaces’ of freedom, but also who is free. This ‘key’ relates freedom to freedom of choice and, at the same time, indicates the necessity of non-domination and attention to the construction of choosing subjects. This paper intends to emphasize that the choices take place in contexts, and these contexts involve relationships, emotions and values. They can be understood as a subjective aspect linked to choice; however, we want to highlight that social standards, structures of power and social meanings are what shape this subjectivity. The social construction happens constantly, quietly and every day, and must be considered whenever we discuss freedom.

Reading Freedom from the Theme of Oppression