The task of this paper is to tell a story examining the form of oppression that most centrally affects YOUR life. In writing your story, you should identify the specific form of oppression you wish to discuss (what is the group being mistreated) and then write about the concrete and daily ways that it shows itself in your life. That is, from whom, in what ways, and where do you note the effects of oppression? In your paper you should incorporate some theoretical aspect of at least 3 of the assigned readings and videos for this class dealing with oppression. While some theoretical framing of your topic is necessary, we also want you to be as specific and personal to you as possible. If you are unclear about the meaning of the term “oppression,” make sure you have read my article “Oppression and Democracy” from our unit #6 readings. If you have not read and understood this article you will not do well on this assignment.
THEN, conclude your paper with 1-2 paragraphs outlining a SPECIFIC AND DO-ABLE plan of political action YOU could carry out that would lead in the direction of eliminating this oppression from your life and the world.
The strongest stories will address the following questions:
- How does this oppression affect YOU personally? How is it about YOUR life? (i.e., tell a “Story of Self”)
- What are some of the larger social SYSTEMS/INSTITUTIONS that create support, and perpetuate this oppression?
- Why is what you are writing about not just an isolated or peculiar thing that happens on an individual basis? That is, why is it really oppression as opposed to just mistreatment? How is this a problem that your entire group faces and not just you as an individual. (i.e., tell a “Story of Us”). If you do not understand this point, please ask questions until you are confident you get it.
- How does the oppression you experience interact with other forms of oppression in a mutually reinforcing way? (This is sometimes called “intersectional analysis.”)
- In what ways have you “internalized” the behaviors and belief systems imposed by this oppression? (Be sure to read the articles by Suzanne Lipsky and Keith Osajima from Unit 7 or race and politics.)
- How does your personal story relate to the theoretical insights from the assigned readings? Use at least 3 sources from our assigned readings, WITH FOOTNOTES– tell us EXACTLY where you got the material, etc using an academically appropriate method of citation.
- How well have you learned to apply the lessons from the hands-on learning components of this class to this topic? Have you presented a realistic plan of action that you could implement right now and that you could get others in your community to participate in? (i.e., tell a “Story of Now”