Sociology Index

Class Oppression

Existing society is the history of class oppression and class struggles. Freeman and slave, lord and serf, oppressor and oppressed. Non-class oppression translates into class oppression and class oppression translates into non-class oppression. Vladimir Lenin said the state is a tool for class oppression, which is where he agrees with anarchism and anarchists. Karl Marx felt that when class oppression was overcome, gender oppression would vanish as well. Oppression is variable, not a constant. The U.S. "New Left" is associated with college campus mass protest movements and a broadening of focus from protesting class oppression to include issues such as gender, race, and sexual orientation. Black feminism argues that sexism, class oppression, and racism are inextricably bound together.

Gender oppression is class oppression and women's subordination is seen as a form of class oppression which is maintained because it serves the interests of capital and the ruling class. The founders of Arbetets kvinnor felt that gender oppression and class oppression functioned side by side, and that women's movements couldn't ignore the class struggle.

Slingo believes that it is the capitalist organization of society which is responsible for class oppression and that, while sexist practices enhance the power of capital over labor, it is not sex, sex-typing or sexism that is the heart of the matter. - Sexism and class oppression, Ira Sohn and Cathy Schwichtenberg, Jump Cut.

A libertarian socialist would call this situation capitalism. An anarcho-capitalist would call it socialism. Both would be partially right and partially wrong. Both would agree on this point, though, it is class oppression and not a truly free market economy. - Kevin Carson - The role of consumerism in class oppression.

Does 'Classism' Help Us to Understand Class Oppression? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Montreal Convention Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Online. - Pincus, F. L. and Sokoloff, N. J. The concept of classism has emerged in the discourse of intersectionality and is often used along with racism and sexism to describe a matrix of class oppression. The argument is usually made that these three systems of class oppression are equivalent and interrelated. We review the history of classism as a concept and argue that class oppression is different than race and gender oppression. In addition, we show that many scholars who use classism as a concept often fail to capture important aspects of class oppression because they don't include in-depth discussions of capitalism.

I have painful insights into the nature of working class oppression from my own history. What I learned was the central and murderous denial of our intellectual capacity that is at the heartless core of class oppression. By this means, we are, as a class, denied a community of intellectual thought through the denial of access to resources and through limiting myths of mental incompetence. The dominant culture's values and traditions are seen as embodying an excellence, rationality and taste that is beyond reproach. It is presented as intrinsically and universally superior. The dynamic of class oppression around this hub has denied working class people full intellectual and cultural development. - The Conspiracy of Good Taste.