Institutional Oppression

As I write an annotation for points, I feel that this very real comparison between plantations and universities must be shared.

The elite white male owns the plantation and everything that contributes to its prosperity: slaves, land, tools etc. He also controls his workers: lower class white males and females, servants etc. The elite man must pass down his plantation and possessions to an heir so he is paired with an elite woman who helps take care of his property (because heterosexism was assumed). Her virginity and chastity must be upheld so she can fulfill her key role of reproducing the elite man’s heirs that will take over the plantation.

Now let’s examine a present day university.

Who’s in control? From my observation white male’s are over represented. They control the politics, finances and policies. They are being joined by woman as helpmates. And the people that fill the classrooms often carry their identities, and will fill their positions in the future. The identity of the cleaning and feeding staff is often people of color who maintain the facilities after the classroom learning is completed.

Do you see any similarities?

That’s institutional oppression.


Toward a New Vision: Race, Class and Gender as Categories of Analysis and Connection. Patricia Hill Collins

2 thoughts to “Institutional Oppression”

  1. I see this all of the time. I strongly agree with your statement that white males are overrepresented but I think this is because overall white students are over represented. This university brags about its diversity but I am not sure if I entirely believe it. Yes we have students from all over the country, races, ethnicities, genders and what not. Yes we have to take a race and ethnicity course but do we take what we “learn” in these courses and apply them to our every day lives? I am not entirely sure.

  2. Margaret, thanks for the response! I agree, the University prides itself on diversity just because it has more than other Universities of its size but I do not think it is adequate at all! I can’t figure out how to attach a picture or link here so I will email it to you. But I have created a chart for the diversity makeup of this school. It is sad to see that white’s take up 3/4’s of the chart.

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