KINE 1000 Study Guide - Final Guide: Robert Sapolsky, John Studebaker, Risk Society
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Toward a New Vision: Race, Class, and Gender as Categories of Analysis
By: Patricia Hill Collins
Summary- The author writes about oppression in society and how it is full of contradictions. She
states that there are no pure victims or oppressors, but rather everyone experiences a
different amount of penalty and privilege based on their race and social status. She believes
that if women and people of colour could find that they have common grounds in regards to
class, it will eliminate racism and sexism.
Thesis is in bold.
She asks 2 questions:
1. How can we reconceptualise race, class and gender as categories of analysis?
- analysis of oppression are based on either/or dichotomous thinking (ex. Black/white,
man/woman) and these dichotomous differences are usually ranked. Therefore, men are
seen as superior to women, whites to blacks, etc. (Collins, 1993/2008, p. 3)
-this is problematic because it assumes that “oppression can be quantified, and that
some groups are more oppressed more than others” (Collins, 1993/2008, p. 3)
- she states that “we must be careful not to confuse the issue of saliency of one type of
oppression in people’s lives with a theoretical stance positing the interlocking nature of
oppression (Collins, 1993/2008, p. 3)
Three Dimensions of Oppression: (Sandra Harding)
Institutional Dimension of Oppression- systemic relationships of domination and
subordination structured through social institutions such as schools, businesses, hospitals, the
workplace and government agencies.
Symbolic Dimension of Oppression- ideologies or stereotypes of race, class and gender
Ex. Masculine Feminine
- aggressive -passive
- leader - follower
- strong - weak
-we must realize that everyone is affected differently by their race, class and gender, and
therefore the description of masculine pertaining to a black male may be different than that
pertaining to a white male.
Individual Dimension of Oppression- the ways in which race, class and gender frame
- each of us has different experiences based on our race, class and gender
- although we may be impacted by the environment we have grown up in, we each have the
ability to make changes if we want to in order to do something about oppression
2. How can we transcend the barriers created by our experiences with race, class and gender
oppression in order to build the types of coalitions essential for social exchange?
I) Differences in power:
- limit our ability to relate to one another
-“voyeurism”- those who are privileged become onlookers to watching how the less
powerful live, and do not relate to them
- this can be demonstrated in a case where a professor only calls on black students’
experiences or opinions when a black issue is being discussed or to better explain the
situation for the white audience (Collins, 1993/2008, p.10)
- in order to build strong coalitions, we must be understanding and willing to listen to others
points of view
- we must all bring our understanding and experiences of how race class and gender operate
as categories of analysis to work together to make a difference in regards to social change
- we must take an interest in the lives of others and develop empathy for them
- building empathy from the privileged is hard because they are not encouraged to do so, and
it requires them to see how their privileged status benefits them
- it is difficult for the less privileged to empathize for those who are more privileged because
they have grown up with mistrust for those in power
- we must examine our position (race, class, gender) in society and understand how it benefits
or disadvantages us in order to empathize with others and be a part of social change and stop
oppression from occurring
Social Class and Social Determinants of Health
People see sports as open to everyone, but organized sports depend on material
resources-This means sports and sports participation are connected with the
distribution of economic, political, and social resources in society. Money does matter
Social Class and class relations
-Socioeconomic status are important because economic resources are related to
power in society, and economic inequalities influence nearly all aspects of people's
lives---Social class share similar life chances- they share opportunities to achieve
success and gain economic power.
[Social stratification] - is the concept used to refer to structured forms of economic
inequalities that are part of the organization of everyday social life.
(People from lower social class backgrounds have fewer opportunities to
achieve success and gain economic power than people from the upper class)
We learn little about the oppressive effects of poverty and the limited opportunities
available to those who lack economic resources, access to good education and well-
placed social connections--the focus is on how economic inequality is Maintained in
society, how it serves the interests of those with wealth and economic power, and
how it affects what happens in sports and the lives of people associated with sports
The Dynamics of Class relations
Children’s enjoyment occurs in a framework that legitimizes and reproduces the
power of adults over the lives of children.
People who use class logic to interpret their own lives often set out on an endless
quest for individual economic achievement. They measure success in terms of how
many "things" they can acquire and how they rank relative to their peers when it
comes to economic worth---Class logic stresses that achievement is measured in
terms of a never-ending quest to improve the "bottom line"
Class Relations and Those who have the power in sports
The U.S. List focuses more on power and influence than (the Canadian list focuses)
-The U.S. List is also a sobering reminder of the power and influence of U.S. And
international corporations on the world of sports.
-Those who control resources in Canada and around the world, their main purpose is
to establish and expand the power and profitability of the organizations represented
by the decision makers. Therefore sports tend to revolve around the meanings and
orientations valued by those with economic resources and power while providing
enjoyable and entertaining experiences to people around the world.
Sports as a Vehicle for transferring Public Money to Wealthy Individuals and
Since 1990, The four major sport leagues in North America have built 72 new
stadiums and arenas costing (19.4 Billion $US). It is also noted that 66 percent of this
cost was paid from public funds.