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Living Above Oppression Throughout History Essay

2319 words - 9 pages

In a study, researchers found that African-American students who were identified by their race scored significantly lower than those African- American students who were not asked to identify their race (Elrich 1994). In another study, women taking a test of math ability were randomly divided into three groups. There was also a math test in which a group of women took. These women were split up in to three different names: women, citizens of the northeast, and private school students. The women who were listed under the name “private school students” scored better than any of the other women taking the test. In fact they also scored higher than the men who took the test as well (Elrich 1994). There was no difference in the information they were being tested on. The crucial difference in all cases was how the test-takers identified themselves. So, why does saying what race or gender you are make a difference in how you answer questions on a test? The answer is found within the expectations of society and a long account of discrimination. So I will report about the effects that discrimination and oppression have on those who’ve been targeted, and think about how we can live above them.
Before we define oppression we have to define it in its basic form which is discrimination. Discrimination has two definitions, one is recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another and the other is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things. When we talk about discrimination as a social issue we usually refer to distinguishing between groups in terms of their race, gender, religion, class, etc. This probably date way back when our ancestors teamed up in groups for safety and mutual aid, and any other group was considered a rival (survival of the fittest). In our society today, there are numerous laws against various kinds of discrimination, but it still exists, and most times we don’t even perceive it to be as discrimination. To this day, the treatment of women in terms of gender is still unequal: women in the United States son average, less than men for doing the same work, and women in many other countries are blatantly denied education and other political opportunities. Unfortunately discrimination happens all over the world and there is no country where men and women are treated equally. Discrimination is all too familiar in all societies, from the discrimination in India with their caste system, to racism in the United States where Caucasians are favored for jobs, often mindlessly, over African-Americans and Latinos. Middle Eastern people are often times being questioned at airports especially since the attacks of 9/11. The poor are often blamed for their poverty, and denied basic services because they don’t deserve it.
Now that we have defined discrimination, let’s look at oppression and some of the modern examples of it in our time. Oppression is defined as, prolonged cruel or unjust...

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