Stereotypes and oppression are two concepts that create a large impact on how cultures
live their lives from day to day. Even though it may not be noticeable, stereotypes are used as a
sorting mechanism in the brain of all humans. Oppression, again, is a tool used by cultures to
place themselves among others, even though it may not be fair.
I am an American, middle-class, female, Caucasian, 20 year-old student studying at the
University of Massachusetts of Amherst. I am a stereotypical American girl. My family however,
is not American. My cousin Eleonora, is also a middle-class, 20 year-old, Caucasian, student
however she is Italian. She and I have very different lives. We are very similar, but the cultures
that we grew up in vary in many different ways, especially in the education system.
Just as oppression occurs in America, it occurs in Italy, however in different ways. In
America there is oppression due to monetary recourses and social class. In America, your school
district is pre-determined based on where you live. If you live in a large mansion in a rich town,
you will go to the school that is closest to them. If you grow up in a school in the projects of a
poor city, then you go to school that is in the projects. There are always the exceptions that have
an excuse to go to another school, but for the majority, this is not true. Funding for all the schools
in America is not all even. Taxes from each town go to that school district. Rich towns get newer
books more often and poorer towns can sometimes barley get by on getting what they need. This
is one type of oppression. The ability to maintain a successful education is not permitted to many
poor citizens. They are stuck with the run-down, beaten schools.
As read in Readings of Diversity and social justice, “Social identity is based on social
identity groups in advantaged and disadvantaged social locations and positions” (Adams, 2). This
again, states that who you are and where you live will determine the advantages or disadvantages
that you are given.