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
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.
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…
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,