Here’s a resonant paragraph from Kalí Tal’s Worlds of Hurt: Reading the Literatures of Trauma (1996) Cambridge University Press. A footnote suggests that the material has been summarized from another book. A heuristic for self-analysis?
In a social system that supports the systematic oppression and persecution of a particular minority group (such as Jews in Nazi Germany), the victims of persecution have a limited set of available options. They may capitulate, which will result in continued suffering and perhaps the eventual death of all members of the targeted group if the intent of the oppressor is genocide. They may resist by appealing to existing legal, moral, or ethical structures in the dominant society (i.e., litigation, religious arguments) and use tactics such as passive resistance or nonviolence. They may respond with force — intending to change the power structure. Or they may attempt to escape the confines of the oppressive social structure, either by relocating to a less hostile environment or by “passing” as a member of a nontargeted group. (p. 8-9)