The Key Five

Iris Young was an American theorist and feminist. Young’s focus was on justice and social differences.She specifically focused on the multiple meanings that are associated with the word oppression. Young explains how their is no singular clear definition of oppression. Instead she argues that all oppression is composed of five key things, exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, cultural imperialism and violence (Young, 38). Young takes a deeper look at the meaning of each of these in the context of different social groups. While the article is very informative, it is written in the early 90s and lacks accountability for intersectionality that can be seen throughout liberal society. 

This text was shown to us at the start of the semester which provides an introduction to the idea of oppression which can be seen throughout Dystopian novels and shows. The article contributes overall to the main concepts of the class greatly. A main theme we have begun to explore is what imagined worlds tell us about the real world. Young’s article lays a foundation for many characteristics that we can see throughout Dystopian works, such as the ideas of forced groups which Young explores when she explains marginalization and powerlessness. Another example would be, dictatorships which can be connected to Young’s thoughts on violence and cultural imperialism being key tools used for oppression in liberal societies. 

Young’s article was very eye opening, showcasing that everything throughout Dystopian novels can in fact be categorized and easily seen in our reality. This article can be used to constantly go back to throughout the semester, which makes it very essential to the overall theme of the class. The five things can be used to show trends throughout text, movies and even shows of the same fears of many writers from early on such as 1984 to more modern works like The Man in The High Castle. While Young’s article could be more inclusive of the insection of certain groups, such as being black and gay or black and a woman, it can be used a solid base throughout time for what to expect throughout Dysoptian themed works.

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