chapter  3
52 Pages

Privilege and Oppression

ByChristie Launius, Holly Hassel

This chapter illustrates the threshold concepts, privilege and oppression, particularly institutional structures that shape our individual experiences, and how activism, agency, and advocacy—as well as the action of feminist allies—can challenge and ultimately change those structures. The concepts of privilege and oppression provide a fundamental framework for understanding how power operates in society. "Respectability politics," or the politics of respectability, is a term used to describe horizontal hostility and internalized oppression in a racial context. Horizontal hostility happens when a member of a marginalized group identifies with the values of the dominant group. The concept of ideology might be one that people have heard before, as academics tend to use it a lot, but one might not really know what it means or why it's used so much. In other words, ideology also plays a role in shaping people's experiences of the institution of health care.