Are the Five Faces of Oppression Relevant to Today?

In the reading Five Faces of Oppression by Iris Young, the author expresses five statements that is within oppression. The key terms of oppression. After the reading, I agree that all five statements are within the United States today. There is exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, cultural imperialism, and violence, which is all represented in the society.

                The U.S. government is one of the biggest scammers and know that many people will work for any pay, especially if it is there only option. When it comes to these certain “groups”, they may not make as much as the average individual who is working there due to skin color, gender, age, and even sexuality. For example, the author states how women are seen as the nurturing who takes care of the family while the men go work. This social status has created a stereotype that women should be in the house taking care of her husband and children. This social status has also put women in the position where they do not get paid as much as men. The author also states how “racial oppression occurs in the form of marginalization rather than exploitation.” For instance, people are in racially marked groups, meaning as young people of color can not get a job just cause of the color of their skin. Another form of oppression is powerlessness. As stated in the reading, this idea is important because it reveals the structure of exploitation and how the powerlessness are put into a position where they can not expand their skills and lack authority. For instance, people of color are given very little say in a workplace and most of time will not receive the same opportunities of a white man or woman. A black man in the business world must earn their respect from higher authority. All of these are three factors of social division of labor.

                The author also explains cultural imperialism which “involves the universalization of a dominant group’s experience and cultures, and its establishment as the norm.”  Cultural imperialism place individuals in social groups and creates stereotypes based on the dominant experience. Lastly, Young states that many groups suffer from systematic violence. Due to these stereotypes, it instills fear and retaliation without in actual reason. The main goal is to “damage, humiliate, or destroy the person.” There have been many cases where some felt “threatened” by a person of color. This person could be a playing in a park, going for a run, buying candy from a store, or reaching for their wallet because they were told to do so. All of these have led to violence and death of an innocent individual, but what was the motive behind it? The only goal was to destroy and continue to people of color in these categories. The author conveys the ideas of oppression very well and the statements are still proven today.  

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