“the general commodification of academic labour is biased against women academics, all of which really extend to all those working toward radical social change. These include the privileging of research over teaching, quantity of publications over quality of publications, short-term outcomes over long-term outcomes, and funding over substance. Basing higher education on a competitive market model inevitably reproduces the struggles for hegemony seen outside the academy in full force”. (Sullivan, Eyre, & Roman, 1998, p. 233)
In this context of the state of academia today, it is important that educators are given opportunities in their training to extend a critical understanding of their own attitudes and beliefs about diversity and difference and how inequities are often politically and socially constructed through established power relations operating on all levels of social life. This is crucial, “as research indicates that pre-service teachers have a tendency to focus on the `individuals’ as the fulcrum of change, at the expense of acknowledging the role those systemic and structural forms of oppression plays in the lives of minority groups.” (Levine, 2004, p.12)
Edward Said has offered key insights on oppression in the imperialist context. In his important work Orientalism, Said has articulated in the unique historical regional context of the Middle East, how “the cruder colonialism of U.S./Israeli occupations in Palestine are asynchronically juxtaposed with an already emergent, on a global scale, reality of neo-colonialism.” (Medina, 2013, p.15) Said’s conception makes for an interesting juxtaposition with the views of sociologist Anzaldua, who sees a more subtle form of oppression at work in the United States. Today, the problems facing native Americans need remedy:
“The cruder physical colonial borderlands must give way to the complexities of much subtler “geography of selves” bearing class, racial, gender, sexual, and psychic “Borderlands” of dualistic thinking, feeling, and sensing that help perpetuate global colonial and racial oppression from within.” (Tamdgidi, 2007, p.114)
The understanding of how to rebuild from oppression can serve as a useful guideline for my own professional practice. This might entail a “different conception of the architecture of self and social oppression which in turn calls for a different, a simultaneity, of self and broader social liberation.” (Tamdgidi, 2007, p.113)
• Barnes, H. E. (2004). Sociology and Political Theory: A Consideration of the Sociological Basis of Politics. New York: A.A. Knopf.
• Beckett, C. (2011). Sociology for Social Workers and Probation Officers. British Journal of Community Justice, 9(1/2), 149+.
• Grant, J. S. (1995). Fundamental Feminism: Contesting the Core Concepts of Feminist Theory // Review. Resources for Feminist Research, 24(1/2), 56.
• Levine, R. F. (Ed.). (2004). Enriching the Sociological Imagination: How Radical Sociology Changed the Discipline. Boston: Brill.
• Maggio, J. (2007). “Can the Subaltern Be Heard?”: Political Theory, Translation, Representation, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, 32(4), 419+.
• Medina, J. (2013). The Epistemology of Resistance: Gender and Racial Oppression, Epistemic Injustice, and Resistant Imaginations. New York: Oxford University Press.
• Nicholson, H. N. (2006). Media and Ethnic Minorities. British Journal of Canadian Studies,19(2), 340+.
• Rabaka, R. (2006). W.E.B. Dubois’s “The Comet” and Contributions to Critical Race Theory: An Essay on Black Radical Politics and Anti-Racist Social Ethics. Ethnic Studies Review, 29(1), 22+.
• Robinson, K., & Diaz, C. J. (1999). Doing Theory with Early Childhood Educators: Understanding Difference and Diversity in Personal and Professional Contexts.Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 24(4), 33.
• Sanbonmatsu, J. (2007). 10 the Subject of Freedom at the End of History: Socialism beyond Humanism. The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 66(1), 217+.
• Sky, P. (1994). The Power of Perspectives: A Case for Feminist Leisure Theory. Journal of Leisure Research, 26(1), 88+.
• Sullivan, A., Eyre, L., & Roman, L. G. (1998). [Dangerous Territories: Struggles for Difference & Equality in Education]. Resources for Feminist Research, 26(3/4), 233.
• Tamdgidi, M. H. (2007). Intersecting Autobiography, History, and Theory: The Subtler Global Violences of Colonialism and Racism in Fanon, Said, and Anzaldúa. Human Architecture, 5, 113+.