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Privilege and Oppression from a Social Justice Framework

DMEIP Training

Cindu Thomas-George

on 31 January 2013

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Transcript of Privilege and Oppression from a Social Justice Framework

Privilege and Oppression
from a
Social Justice Framework

Cindu Thomas- George
DMEIP Faculty Lead Diversity- numerical representation and appreciating cultural and social differences Social Justice- Equity (fairness) and inclusion Diversity vs. Social Justice Social/Cultural Identities Social/Cultural Identity is one's SENSE OF SELF as a member of a social/cultural group(s). About Social/Cultural Identities:

1.We all have different social identities and cultures

2.Our social identities affect our values, world-views, beliefs, and behaviors

3.Our mix of social identities affect who we are and how we experience the world

4.There may be aspects of our social identities that we appreciate as well as find difficult

5.We can appreciate our differences from others (not only our commonalities)

6.Difference does not mean deficient. SELF Race Ethnicity Sex Gender Identity Sexual Orientation Social/Economic Class Age Ability/Disability Religion Nationality Time to Reflect.. Social/Cultural Identity Activity
1. To yourself, identify your social identity within each social identity group.

2. Considering all of your social identities, on a daily basis, which ones are you most aware of? Which ones are you least aware of?

3. Choose 2 of your social identities that you feel are most central to who you are, to how you see yourself. Discuss with the person next to you why you chose those two.

4. Choose one of the social identities you just chose and address the following questions with the person next to you:
- How does that identity affect who you are (your values, worldview, experiences, behavior, etc)?
- What is something that you wish people understood about that identity?

Social/Cultural Identity Groups:
•Gender Identity
•Sexual Orientation
•Social /Economic Class
•Nationality Characteristics of Dominant Groups

1. Are perceived to have greater power and privilege in society
2. Set the norms and standards
3. One sees self as “normal”
4. Have limited awareness of own privileges or being part of a dominant group
5. Have limited awareness of the extent of marginalization faced by subordinated groups
6. Have a sense of superiority and entitlement
7. Are seen, and liked to be seen, as an individual, not as part of a social identity group
8. Often prefer to focus on their subordinated identities. Characteristics of Subordinate Groups

1. Are perceived to have less power and privilege in society
2. Historically seen as inferior and often feel invisible
3. Have their experiences questioned, dismissed, or invalidated
4. Know about the dominant group and the dominant culture as well as their own social group and culture
5. Known to be subject to threat of violence and/or violence
6. Employ various survival strategies e.g., hide or minimize their social identity to fit in and avoid oppression
7. Struggles to find a balance between who they are and who they need to be in order to feel accepted in the dominant society
8. May internalize the dominant societal messages about the inferiority of their group
9. Often finds it difficult to focus on their dominant identities. Key Points About Social Identity Status:
1. Most people are a mix of dominant and subordinated identities
2. We tend to be least aware of our dominant identities and most aware of our subordinated identities
3. Our particular mix affects our experience with privilege and oppression. Definition of Oppression
a system that maintains advantages and disadvantages based on social group memberships and operates intentionally and unintentionally on individual, institutional, and social/cultural levels.

Prejudice + Social Power Levels and Types of Oppression

Intentional Unintentional

attitudes and actions that reflect prejudice against a social group

policies, practices, rules, laws, norms, and customs enacted by organizations and social institutions that disadvantage some social groups and advantage other social groups.

social norms, roles, rituals, language, music, and art that reflect and reinforce the belief that one social group is superior to another. Common Elements of Oppression:

1. System of advantage and disadvantage
2. Differences in social power based on social group membership
3. Socialized into belief system that maintains oppression
4. Conditioned to see oppression as natural and normal
5. Negative stereotypes about oppressed group
6. All forms of oppression are interconnected. What is Privilege?
an invisible package of unearned assets those in the dominant group are born with and can count on cashing in each day, but about which they are meant to remain oblivious. Discussion Questions......

1. How are we/CLC oppressing others?

2. How does this oppression impact our students?

3. What can we do from a social justice framework to address oppression at CLC?
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