Levels of Oppression

• Is a black person who doesn’t like white
people the same thing as a white
person who doesn’t like black people?
•Get out your notebook
to take some notes!
• Negative attitudes or beliefs about a certain
group of people
• the ability to control and influence
your environment, including other
Oppression = Prejudice + Power
• Oppression = Negative beliefs plus the power
to affect people’s lives
Who’s Prejudiced Ideas Hurt?
• People of color, women, LGBT people, and
working class people may have prejudiced
• But they do not have the social power to
affect the groups they dislike
3 Levels of Oppression
1. Interpersonal
2. Institutional
3. Internalized
1. Interpersonal Oppression
• Expressed through acts by one person
towards another person
• Ex: verbal insults, physical attacks
2. Institutional Oppression
• Operates through institutions like
government, businesses, organizations,
groups, and their laws, practices, rules,
and policies.
• Ex: racist FHA home loan program, police
brutality against African Americans
3. Internalized Oppression
• Self-hatred or self-dislike among
oppressed people because they believe
the negative ideas about their group
• Ex: skin lightening, women hating on other
women they don’t know
Page Reflection – Due Monday!
• -
Lay these out on your desk
• Interpersonal
• Institutional
• Internalized
• Racism
• Sexism
• Classism
• Heterosexism
• For each statement, decide which
type of oppression and which level of
oppression it relates to.
• Hold up the signs for your answer!
Test Run
• I have been called a name or
teased because of my race or
• Interpersonal racism
• I reported to an authority like a teacher or
police officer about being hurt physically
because of sexuality and nothing was done
about it.
• Institutional racism
• I have been put down by people
because my family gets public
assistance, like a LINK card or a
medical card
• Interpersonal classism
• I have been harassed or made to
feel unsafe because I am a woman
• Interpersonal sexism
• Some schools do no allow girls to play
sports like football
• Institutional sexism
• I feel that I cannot hang out or
socialize with someone because I
don’t want others to question my
• Internalized heterosexism
• I have been called gay or teased
because other people perceived me
or something I did to be “gay”
• Interpersonal heterosexism
• I live in a working class
neighborhood and the schools
actually are terrible.
• Institutional classism
• I have felt embarrassed about my
house or the way I dress because my
family could not afford expensive
• Internalized classism
• Although I am a good student, my
parents cannot afford to pay for
college, and scholarships may not
cover everything
• Institutional classism
• I have avoided doing certain activities
because I’ve been told over and over
that certain things are “not for girls”
and I kind of accept it.
• Internalized sexism
• I hardly see respectful, accurate
representations of my race in the
media, like TV, newspapers, and
• Institutional racism
• I have felt ashamed of my race or
ethnicity sometime in my life.
• Internalized racism

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