As we have witnessed in the institutions that include the schools, businesses, hospitals work place and government agencies, there differences in the way we perceive race, gender and class. I concur with the writer that social institutions are mostly controlled by white elites. The symbolic dimension comprises of the use of stereotyping and image control in description of diverse class, race, and gender. The masculine are considered to be aggressive, leaders, intellectual rational and strong as opposed to the passive, follower, emotional, and week feminine. Aggressive black and the Hispanic are not expected to show such behaviors although, are masculine. The same follows for all the other characteristics. The same trend is shown on the black women. The individual biography shall influence the way one perceives oppression.
It is true that “We must recognize that our different experiences with oppression create problems in the relationships among us” (Patricia Hill Collins, 2004). Power differences limit how we communicate with each other. Those in power perceive the powerless as instruments of their entertainment. Coalitions are formed around common cause like a common enemy. Such coalitions cannot necessarily bring change. However, such coalitions help in transcending differences. Building empathy can help in replacing voyeurism with proper dialogue with no assumptions on the differences.
There is a new concept on the definition or perspective of viewing oppression. Questions like the structures of domination and subordination and their relationship with the economy in America need to be asked and answered. The gender structuring in terms of institutions, symbolic and individual perspective is absolutely a new perspective. This explains the fundamental differences that shape the society based on gender, race, and class. As indicated, I agree that individual perspective matter in gender structuring.
The research disturbed me the especially the call for self-examination. The powerful viewing the powerless as instruments of entertainment was also disturbing. The research leads to new grounds that have not been explored to such details before. The perspective is also unique. The research has enhanced my knowledge of racism in America.
Patricia Hill Collins. Towards new vision race, class, and gender as categories of analysis and connection.