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Resisting RealitySocial Construction and Social Critique$
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Sally Haslanger

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199892631

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199892631.001.0001

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Racial and Other

(p.311) 11 Oppressions
Resisting Reality

Sally Haslanger

Oxford University Press

If one adopts an account of oppression according to which bad intentions, or hatred on the part of the oppressor is not necessary—if, in fact, no mental state on the part of the privileged group is necessary because oppression is structural—then it is unclear how to distinguish forms of oppression that are coextensive, or nearly so, such as race and class (in the contemporary United States). What distinguishes racial oppression from class oppression if they occur together? This chapter argues, drawing on Dorothy Roberts' work on child protective services in Chicago, that there are causal and historical factors that distinguish the structures that target race and the structures that target class. So, roughly, a structure racially oppresses in a context only if one's race non-accidentally correlates with a systematic disadvantage in that context.

Keywords:   oppression, structure, racism, race, class, discrimination, history, disparate impact, Jorge L. A. Garcia, gender, feminism

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