SOWK 610: Structural Oppression and Its Implications for Social Work
Structural oppression – e.g., by race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, (dis)ability, religious and cultural beliefs and practices, ethnicity, national origin, and class – is omnipresent. Its' faces and forms shape our consciousness, our communities, and our cultural norms. It influences the way we see both ourselves and others. It impacts our attitudes, our interactions, and our opportunities. We cannot escape it; we can only work to overcome it.
This course will encourage its members to interrogate the causes, manifestations, impacts, and means of overcoming structural oppression in its myriad faces and forms. We will explore social identity in the context of a complex web of structural oppression – and the ways that dominant narratives influence the way we see ourselves and others. We will examine how some human differences are given social meaning, and how these differences have been used to divide people and hide and justify systems of exclusion, exploitation and marginalization. Throughout, as we seek to question constructs often considered natural and inevitable, we will challenge ourselves to envision and create more liberatory, equitable, and just ways to practice social work and organize social life.
To register for this course, please log into SURFS (https://www.umaryland.edu/surfs/)