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1. Power (Mid-Term Review Notes).docx

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Kinesiology & Health Science
KINE 1000
Hernan Humana

Demystifying Kinesiology Kin1000 – Mid-term Review Lecture 1- Power Introduction While many of us have little difficulty assessing our own victimization within some major system of oppression, we typically fail to see how our thoughts and actions uphold someone else’s subordination. Once we realize that there are few pure victims of oppressors, and that each one of us derives varying amounts of penalty and privilege from the multiple systems of oppression that frame our lives, then we will be in a position to see the need for new ways of thought and action. To get at the “piece of the oppressor which is planted deep within each of us,” we need at least two things. First, we need new visions of what an oppressor is. New categories of analysis those are inclusive of race, class, and gender as distinctive. I suggest that we examine our different experiences within more fundamental relationship of damnation and subordination. However, new ways of thinking that are not accompanied by new ways of acting offer incomplete prospects for change. To get at that, “piece of the oppressor which is planted deep within each of us,” we also need to change our daily behaviour. We often assume that people around us (teachers, doctors, peers) will act and feel in prescribed ways because they belong to a certain race, social class or gender category. These judgements must be replaced with fully human relationships that transcend the legitimate differences created by race, class, and gender. I focus on two basic questions: 1. How can we reconceptualise race, class, and gender as categories of analysis 2. How can we transcend the barriers created by our experiences with race, class, and gender oppression in order to build the coalition’s essential for change? How can we reconceptualise race, class and gender as categories of analysis? We must shift our discourse away from additive analysis of oppression. Such approaches are typically based on two key premises. 1. They depend on either/or, dichotomous thinking. Thoughts are not seen as two different interconnecting ideas and are seen as opposites. Either/or dichotomous thinking is especially troublesome when applied to theories of oppression because every individual must be classified as being oppressed or not oppressed. 2. Additive analyses of oppression allow dichotomous differences to be ranked. One side is dominant, and the other subordinate. Examples like white’s rule black’s and men are superior to women lead to the assumption that oppression can be quantified, and that some groups are oppressed more than others. Additive analysis rests squarely on twin pillars of either/or thinking. These approaches see African American women as being more oppressed than everyone else because they experience oppression by race/class/gender simultaneously. But, race/class/gender may all structure a situation but may not be equally visible and/or important in people’s self-definition. In places like American South and South America racial oppression is more visibly salient and in Haiti class is more apparent. We need to ask new questions. How are relationships of domination and subordination structured and maintained in the American political economy? 1. The Institution dimension of oppression Oppression is structured along 3 main dimensions- the institutional, the symbolic, and the individual offers a useful model for a comprehensive analysis. Systematic relationships of domination and subordination structured through social institutions (schools, businesses, hospitals) represent the institutional dimension of oppression. Racism, sexism, and elitism all have concrete institutional locations. To see how race, class, and gender interlock in nature the antebellum plantation is a perfect example. She suggests that slavery was a race/class/gender institution. In slavery we saw variations of levels through white women, lower class white women, and slave black women. Lower class white women got few protections held out by their upper class sisters. But the undervaluing of black women kept all white women in their place. Racism stripped black people of all their rights as human beings, because they were black. The chain of command on the plantation went White Man (reigning patriarch)  Wife (white women, helpmate, bring up his heirs)  Faithful servants (tied to the capitalist political economy, largely property -less)  Working Class white women and men looking from afar. While blacks experienced the harshest treatment under slavery, and thus made slavery clear visible as a racist institution, race/class/gender interlocked in structuring slavery’s systematic organization of domination and subordination. These basic relationships still remain intact. 2. The symbolic dimension of oppression Societal sanctioned ideologies used to justify relations of domination and subordination comprise the symbolic
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