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Dec 27, 2018 10:53 PM EST

Anti Oppressive Framework And The New Job Market


 In the second half of the twentieth century, affirmative action and relentless activism in general redefined dynamics of race, gender and sexual orientation in North America. While institutional segregation has been banished, and it is culturally unacceptable to openly discriminate on the basis of sex, race or sexuality, we still have a long way to go in implementing equal opportunity in society.

As the younger generations, who've mostly been exposed to a more inclusive world view, navigate the complex job markets of today, they may come up against insidious elements of discrimination that still manifest in far too many situations. Furthermore, white hetero-normative men (and women, to some degree) still need to look out for peers who are still enforcing outdated methods of discrimination, especially when they don't know that they're doing it.

What is an Anti Oppressive Framework?

Anti-oppressive framework (AOP), is a framework that accepts that there are still elements of elitism and discrimination in society based on race, gender and sexuality and attempts to even out this imbalance by facilitating equal opportunity and fair play. This means reckoning with your prejudices and having difficult conversations with folks who are blind to their own. AOP is not designed to make white people feel ashamed, it is designed to start an open dialogue and make society a more equitable place.

Sectors and Cultures

Depending on the field that you're hoping to work in, you may see a wide range of oppression. In the nonprofit sector, for example, there is much less discrimination and diversity tends to be celebrated. Social workers who are representative of the marginalized communities they serve are often desirable, since individuals will find it easier to relate to them and trust them.

The entertainment and arts sectors also tend to celebrate diversity and casts and crews of films are increasingly diverse as public interest has shifted away from narratives dominated by white people. In fact, working in film and television can offer a broad range of jobs from behind the scenes technical work to writing, composing music, wardrobe and craft services. There's also lots of room for upward mobility and fewer obstacles of oppression on most - not all - projects. There are many resources and opportunities to connect with mentors and learn how to start a career in the entertainment industry out there if you know where to look - signing up for an event with The CIE Tour, for example, can give you a leg up.

Trouble Spots

Unfortunately, many companies in the corporate and financial sectors have trouble incorporating anti-oppressive frameworks. Interviewers can be dismissive of women, visible minorities and other marginalized groups. Because many people either won't recognize the problem, or admit that they have a latent prejudice, it is extremely difficult to counter these impediments.

Additionally, many people can become defensive when you bring up the idea that there is an imbalance of demographics in the job market. Obviously this is not a problem that will be solved overnight, but hopefully people can slowly adjust to a society where anyone can pursue a career that's meaningful to them, regardless of race, sex or sexuality.

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