Oppression And Privilege: A Comparative Analysis

489 Words 2 Pages
1. Bailey and McIntosh both explain the structural features of oppression by linking the concepts of oppression and privilege together.
According to Bailey’s article, “any understanding of oppression is incomplete without recognition of the role privilege pays in maintaining systems of domination” (Bailey, 104). With privilege, the dominant social groups have the ability “to construct, define, and control the construction of categories” (Bailey, 106). Therefore subordinate, or oppressed groups, do not exist independently because they are socially constructed by the dominants. Privilege is granted and refers to unearned advantages that individuals have without them even knowing. Other groups of people have to do more work in order to get to the same places as those with privilege because the privilege exempts individuals from particular burdens that others experience. Those that fall in the dominant group or privileged category, enjoy unearned benefits and immunities specifically because they belong to social groups that our society values as desirable or ideal. On the other hand, those that are oppressed are restricted and “movement in any direction is penalized” (Bailey,105). This means that the oppressed people are stuck in a society that is created for the dominant groups and
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This maybe because those that are privileged are only looking at one wire of the bird cage, thinking why the bird, the oppressed, does not just fly around the wire to get out of the cage. However, by taking a step back and looking at the bird cage as a whole with all of the wires surrounding the bird, it becomes clear that a bird cannot fly around the wire. The bird, oppressed groups, are incased by all of the wires that make up the bird cage and have no options available that don’t come with

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