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woke

adjective; zero derivation
Being aware of social issues and conflict, particularly in reference to institutionalized societal issues and unjust hierarchies of power.
 
Woke is often used to describe people aware of racism, sexism, and exploitation, particularly in the modern day. One who is aware of modern institutionalized racism, gentrification, and the rising gap between rich and poor globally is more likely to be labeled as “woke” than someone who is aware of the minutia of the Civil Rights Movement or the atrocities of 19th century British imperialism. Woke is metaphorically representative of being awake and aware, also implying that those who are not “woke” are asleep, and thus unaware of the world around them. Given the rise of socially-active subgroups through the internet, particularly among younger millennials, woke was most likely coined as a way to express social awareness in an informal way.
Etymology : Formed by zero derivation of verb woke.
Source : “He highlighted the fakery of their woke-ness: “Companies are avidly and aggressively trying to get involved in a socially responsible space, and they are doing it horribly – they are grabbing at straws.” ” (The Guardian, Faking 'wokeness': how advertising targets millennial liberals for profit, June 6, 2017)
Last modified: 27 November 2017


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