Comj 270 Midterm - Catrina Steckler and Danny Larson Prof...

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Catrina Steckler and Danny Larson Prof. Tompkins COMJ 270 Midterm 12 March 2019 Part 1: 1. Exploitation/Oppression The concept of exploitation has various intersecting factors. According to Erik Olin Wright, within an economic context, the term exploitation refers to the exploitative relationship between those people who own the means of production and the workers/employees. In this context, the exploiters are dependent upon the fruits of labor of the exploited, and therefore mutually bind the exploiter and the exploited (11). There are three criteria for class exploitation: the inverse interdependent welfare principle, the exclusion principle, and the appropriation principle. If the appropriation principle, which emphasizes how those in power appropriate the fruits of labor of the exploited, is lacking, the result would be non-exploitative economic oppression. Therefore, oppression exists when the inverse interdependent welfare principle and the exclusion principle are present; all that is necessary for oppression to occur is the exclusion from resources, not the exploitation of labor of the oppressed. These two concepts relate to Wright’s broader arguments about class, exploitation and poverty in understanding the differences between the working poor, a group which is economically exploited, and the underclass, a group which is economically oppressed “but not consistently exploited within a given class system” (48). These two concepts relate to one another in that they both represent a system where people in power are able to take advantage of those in lower socioeconomic status by means of exploiting their labor, or excluding them from means of production and access to resources through oppression. 2. The New Jim Crow/ Bivalent collectivities The argument Michelle Alexander makes in The New Jim Crow is that there is a new racial caste system in the United States in which Black people have been stigmatized and locked into an inferior position by law and custom (12). She refers to the process of how Black people have been labeled as ‘criminals’ through the rhetoric and implementation of the War on Drugs. These policies have lead to increased profiling practices, the militarization of local police departments via the Byrne Act, and an overall ‘tough on crime’ rhetoric used by politicians, and the judicial system. The new racial caste system outlined by Alexander relates to Nancy Fraser’s discussion of bivalent collectivities, as Black people in today’s society currently face injustices which require both redistribution and recognition reform.
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