Social Identities –
We all have different social identities. Some are visibly apparent, and others are unknown to others unless we share them. Examples of social identities include:
Race, Gender, Class, Sexual Orientation, Ability, Nationality, Religion, Education, Etc…
It is important to be aware of our own identities and respect the identities of others. Each identity comes with the potential for privilege or oppression, and many of us may have privilege in some areas while facing oppression in others.
Line of access – social identities can determine one’s ability to access opportunity.
Access can come in the form of wealth, education, home ownership, healthcare access, or many other areas. Essentially it is one’s ability to obtain the “American Dream.” Social identities can determine whether one falls above or below the line of access. Those above will face less difficulty in obtaining access, while those below may face great difficulty and oppression. It is important to be conscious of this line of access in the context of social identities.
Here is an example of the crossing of the line of access for an individual that identifies as: white, Jewish, upper middle class, cis female, bisexual, and able bodied/minded. As you can see, there are many places where this person's identity crosses the line of access. This affords increased access to some resources such as health care, while also lacking some resources such as higher education in fields that traditionally under-represent women.
Presented to Connections by Ashley Gray, Diversity and Inclusion Lead , WUSM
Blog post written by Jessica and Rebecca
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