Analysis Of Iris Young's Five Faces Of Oppression

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In Iris Young’s “Five Faces of Oppression” she discusses inequality, exclusion and oppression toward groups through the five faces; exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness cultural imperialism, and violence. Oppression means the practice of dominance by a ruling group. Oppression creates injustice in many instances throughout our society. It is the result of a groups choices or policies that create norms and habits in people’s day to day lives. Ultimately, oppression is when people make others feel less human. It is seen throughout history that many people are oppressed by others, which denies them education, religion, jobs, and other possibilities to be free. Young discusses the topic of justice in her essay and how justice when institutionalized …show more content…
The idea of powerlessness is that there are the “have” and have-not” groups. Powerless people are ruled and take orders from the authoritative group. Carl Marx’s theory of socialism discusses the “have” and “have-not” groups, where injustice is linked with the self-consciousness to succeed, lack of motivation and lack of education. Powerlessness is shown through society today in the working environment where women are less powerful, make less and have less authority to make decisions at work. Young refers to the separated groups in which workers are divided and treated unequally. Two readings relate to Young’s view of powerlessness; in Marilyn Frye’s “To See and Be Seen,” men are the actors who can achieve greatness in the world and women are the stagehands that do all the work, but have no authority in the play and in Laura Lederer’s “Then and Now: An Interview with a Former Pornography Model where women are unable to control the role they play and are judged and treated unfairly. Women in society today lack control and autonomy because of society’s beliefs and views of women that are seen throughout …show more content…
There is a separation between professionals and non-professionals that society has created that factors into the workplace. Powerlessness refers to the lack of autonomy, power, and awareness that comes with being included in a professional group. Professionals separate themselves from non-professionals through advancement, authority, and respect. Young argues that, through exploitation, a free society still structures itself as a hierarchical system in politics, the workforce and society. Undervaluing one groups skills so that other groups profit leads to the profitable group holding the most power and trickling down to the bottom of the workforce ladder. Young recognizes social groups as “a collective of persons differentiated from at least one other group by cultural forms, practices, or way of life.” (p. 43). She states that groups are not defined based upon characterizes that people have, but instead their identity leads people to make their group a group. The oppression of women in the workforce based on gender prevents women from receiving power and expands the opportunity for men in power. In Young’s text powerlessness in the context refers to how workers are separated into two groups; those with authority and those without authority. Women are the have-nots that lack autonomy and hold lower positions than men. Young states that, “the powerless are those who lack authority or power… those

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