Oppression refers to the unjust or cruel use of power. In the modern world, oppression entails oppressing governments as well as individuals being denied opportunities such as education that would help them in realizing their full potential. The various forms of abuse include institutional, social and economic. The social form of oppression involves a party dominating over the other or maintains its advantage on the weaker side. Under social oppression, exists different types such as racial, gender, sexual and class oppression. Institutional abuse involves the application of practices, established laws and customs that result of inequities in various social groups. The racial difference among people gets attributed to the differences seen in individuals. Some of the different races are the whites, Africans, Native Americans, Chinese, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and South Asians. Therefore, the book focuses on the social aspect of oppression using different approaches.
Racism and oppression
Racism entails all about a particular race believing that they are superior to their races. The biological structure of a person determines his or her social character traits. The pictures below explains much about racism and oppression.
The picture shows people from different cultures and races across the world. The fight against racism has been a battle for centuries. The blacks, the whites, Native Americans, Asians among others have interacted quite often in different institutions across the world. The United States has known to be the land of freedom, and many races have come to seek greener pastures here. The people in the picture are holding hands showing unity despite the biological differences that can be seen in their natural composition.
The smiles seen in the faces show that the people are at peace and happy when working together for the benefit of the society. The discrimination of people based on colour and race is outdated. The modern age has brought the world to accept one another because of education as well as enabling factors such as technology and social media.
The sad fact is that racism and oppression in the United States never got eliminated. The evidence lies in the way the lives of people of colour has remained unimproved for decades. Some of the proof that exists include statistics obtained from the National Center for Education Statistics where both Black and Latino students performed lower than their white schoolmates. The two races have continued ravishing in unemployment and poverty while living in segregated communities utilising fewer resources in comparison to their white colleagues (Burghardt, 1982).
The need for elimination of racism requires that people need to value diversity and equality in the United States. We all need to make an effort towards taking responsibility for past practices of control and marginalisation as well as eradicating the effects created by racism. The society should be that of good democracy and become transformed into an all-inclusive place where diversity is valued and respected (Bell, 2008).
The figures below shows racism in the early periods during colonization.
The pictures highlight oppression of the Native Americans during the enslavement days. They got forced out of their land making them feel like strangers in their land by the white settlers from Europe. History identifies discrimination in the form of racism as beginning during colonisation when the aim was facing out Native Americans. The oppression began with overthrowing the existing authority among the Native Americans and obtaining their land forcefully or through theft.
The Native Americans got enslaved followed by the kidnapping of Africans who provided free forced labour. The coerced labour provided by the Africans got used in developing agricultural wealth as well as capital for the European colonisers in the early periods. However, racism did not stop at that as abuse, exploitation and recruitment of Filipino, Japanese and Chinese labourers continued in the construction of railway systems that helped America in establishing their wealth as well as authority across the world.
The eventual outcome of all the racism entailed growth of migrants hence the name the United States. The founders of America came up with a system that favoured the Whites as it posed racial advantages to them hence absorption of several Europeans in the United States as immigrants. The individuals who declared themselves white gained enormous economic and political benefits as the system got founded on the supreme authority of the whites. Also, the new citizens of America included rights to property ownership alongside the right to vote which aided the nation to acquire political influence and grow their wealth (Casdaneda and Zuniga, 2010).
Ageism and Adultism
The pictures below shows ageism in employment.
The pictures indicate younger people are having access to jobs and thriving in the society. The old are regarded as not reliable enough despite having several years of experience in the particular job sectors. Several companies across the world have faced lawsuits for practising ageism including Google Inc. some of the victims of age discrimination were either told to be too young or too old to hold a position in office.
Ageism is defined as a form of discrimination or stereotyping of individuals because of their old age (Butler, 1975, 50). Adultism involves suppression of the young people by their adults (Butler, 1975, 12). The two types of oppression affect both adults and the youth in the society. The method of using control as well as servitude relationships in determining the participation of individuals in the community has become a matter of concern. Social relations in the society such as taking care of both young and old are enhanced by the physical and biological realities already established.
The societal expectations have always been a priority in determining the choices made in connection with the young and elderly persons. For instance, students in high school are well known for their participation in political campaigns despite lacking the rights to vote until they reach the age of majority. The same case applies to the older generation who despite being overqualified for the job positions advertised, they get stereotyped. In most cases, the older people are persuaded by corporations to accept getting laid off and in the end, struggle their way towards obtaining new employment.
The literature above provides evidence that oppression of the young and old generation exists. There is need to improve the regulations as well as the rules of the society that enhance our capacity to identify the lack of respect and empowerment of the young generation. The youth escort law was established to dictate the undertakings of minors in the presence of adults who are above the age of 21 years. The youth are obliged to be under the supervision of adults when darkness looms or are obliged to get out of malls by 7 p.m. the adults also exercise power over the young at school on a day-to-day basis. At school, the youth are required to seek permission when going to washrooms despite having legal approval to look after their younger siblings as well as driving to work.
The oppression of the old and the young continues in the institutions they are placed to benefit. For instance, the schools attended by the youth have become more of prisons than learning institutions as they have been heavily fitted with police, guards and surveillance cameras. As for the adults, nursing homes have made them stay in the homes without their consent for getting regular income. The society has seen to it that several institutional measures alongside laws have identified age as the only factor considered in the determination of the ability of a person to join the army, take alcohol, leave school, drive or even get married.
It is also a practice common among youth where they exhibit adultism among other young people. They also tend to oppress the young people who are younger than them based on age (Keri, Barbara, 2010, pg. 536). The same practice is also portrayed among a few black folks who show greater reverence to their fellow blacks that look and act like white people.
According to Hackman, it refers to discrimination of people based on their sex or gender. The most common practice of sexism is that which discriminates women. Several concepts in the society support sexism and these include gender role, identity and socialisation. A sample of the gender roles includes, men do not cry, women are emotional and but men are not, women should look beautiful and are caregivers naturally. Such functions are imparted to people through gender socialisation. The figure below involves a woman seeking for a job, and the employer tells her that she is not the right man for the job.
The picture shows the high level of sexism found in the society. Men are believed to be superior in the society hence degrade the female gender. Such discrimination has deprived women their opportunities and leaving them to be vulnerable to the male species. Some women have had to undergo mistreatment in the process of seeking jobs and playing significant roles in the society such as seeking political office. Families have also defined to young children on how to behave as their gender dictates. The women are expected to become caretakers and play the role of homemakers as their husbands go to work.
The picture below clearly illustrates roles played by women at home.
The image shows how a woman multitasks to ensure everything at home is in order. She feeds the baby, cleans the windows, washes the clothes, irons the dry clothes, cooks and sweeps the floor among other duties at home. She feels deprived and hopeless as it can be seen from the face that she is sad.
Characteristics of Gender Roles
Act as social constructions
Masculinity and femininity have often been viewed as biological and not a social created. However, several analyses have identified that if they were natural, then there would be few difference sin expressions across the world. The roles are not consistent as in the United States it has changed over years because of political, social as well economic influences (Hackman).
Based on heteronormativity
The meaning is that heterosexuality should be the norm while attempting to learn and understand queer sexualities such as gay, lesbian and bisexual.
The two gender roles are opposed.
The traits exhibited in the masculine species differs from that of the feminine. Women are defined as inferior and weak while men are robust and reliable (Martinez, Frankel and Smith, 2017). Also, the values attributed to the female species have become undervalued hence often used to abuse and harass men.
It entails all about the process of one identifying self with either as being a man, woman or transgender (Martinez, Frankel and Smith, 2017). The picture shows a clear example of the gender identities in the modern world.
The first picture in blue refers to the identity of a man while the second in purple is transgender. A transgender possesses and portrays both characters. They identify themselves as both man and woman. The last picture in pink is that of a woman in the society.
Handling Social oppression
The goal towards promoting social service and justice requires coalitions. Such alliances thrive in environments of social work as well as in situations where the needs of marginalised people are not met (Adams, Bell, Goodman, & Joshi, 2016). Some conditions promote member influence and effectiveness within a coalition such as; type and level of resources possessed by group members, work experience in the p...
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