aging a Living”, especially in its story about Barbara Brooks who is a 36 year-old single, black mother living in Freeport, New York, reflects the matrix of domination in relation to how Barbara experiences herself in relation to social class, race, and gender, as well as how these intersect to form a boundary between subordination and privilege. In short, Barbara’s story in “Waging a Living” seen from the matrix of domination perspective, represents the fact that understanding oppression requires initial understanding of privilege as a counter position.
Society typically uses descriptive dichotomies like white/black or female/male, which are in direct opposition to one another and are rarely representative of equal relationships (Zinn & Dill, 1996). This phenomenon can be used to describe the reason why Barbara Brooks finds herself in her position of domination. In this case, she falls into two halves that society considers inferior, which are being black and being female. This intersection of gender and race has been identified as having a significant influence over the labor market. For instance, despite Barbara having the requisite skill, experience, and education to succeed, these factors are not enough to make a difference in the outcome of the labor market. She still has to balance her responsibilities as a full time worker and a single mother, of which the latter is a consequence of her gender. The intersection of gender and race also has a significant impact on wages, especially since she is forced to return to her school and work schedule as she is unable to support her family. By understanding intersectionality and the labor market, it is further easier to see how the intersection of gender and race, as well as economic inequalities, impact on social status and class (Zinn & Dill, 1996).
In Barbara’s case, her gender and race also intersect with her social status to make her even more dominated. Barbara lives in Freeport, New York where the ...Show more