What is Oppression.doc

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Western University
Women's Studies
Women's Studies 1020E
Leslie Thielen- Wilson

L. Thielen-Wilson Lecture Slide Points for “What is Oppression?” WS1020e 2010 S1. Oppression is…  …a claim about social systems: how they operate and the purpose they serve  …group based injustice; one group serves the interests of another group  …incompatible with `substantive equality’ S2. Different oppressive systems: different means, similar end or purpose a. European colonization of First Nations peoples: Means: segregation (reserves); assimilation (IRS); Law (Indian Act; property law); imposition of nuclear family; private/public distinction; negative representations, violence… End: Europeans control Indigenous land/resources/…. b. European enslavement of Black Africans: Means: abduction, enslavement, segregation, prohibit nuclear family, Law (property; Jim Crow); negative representations, violence. End: Europeans control Black Africans as property: control and profit from their labour; service homelife, etc. S3 Implications? Continuity of Past into Present Oppressions Hill Collins “The New Racism”; Culhane “colonialism on-going”; ….? “Interlocking” systems of Oppression: • Systems of gender, race, class oppression operate simultaneously and through each other. • Different women situated differently in relation to the forces of interlocking systems. S4: Sometimes oppression w/in western culture is difficult to see because:  “Groups” not clearly visible (Frye)  Ideology of free and democratic Western culture… Need to:  Take a macroscopic view (Frye)  Ask Critical questions (Frye p. 14)  Check patterns/distribution of bodies: where located? Whose interests served?  Consider historical continuity (Hill Collins) 1 S5. Marilyn Frye: Theory of Oppression (see pages 11, 14, 33 especially) Frye (p. 33) : “Oppression is a system of interrelated barriers and forces which reduce, immobili
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