Classism is not simply prejudice, but rather the combination of prejudice and institutional power. Anyone, regardless of class, can have classist prejudices, biases, or tendencies. However, in the United States, being upper class means having institutional power and privilege; therefore, classism here is the systemized discrimination of members of the lower classes due to the societal belief that having wealth is superior. Classism in America is systemic because it plays a role in our institutions and society, whether we recognize it or not. To truly understand classism is to also understand how it is embedded in institutional and cultural systems, rather than focusing on an individual's thinking or actions.
The poor may sometimes be a party to classism, without intending to act in that manner. and simply because classism is so ingrained in our institutions, cultures, and societies. For example, a member of the lower class may make an assumption that homeless people are lazy, or simply choosing to be homeless.
Anti-Classism refers to anything that actively attempts to challenge systems of classism. This could include strategies, actions, theories, and even language. A large part of anti-classism is first helping people to recognize that classism exists and present ways to lessen imbalances caused by systemic classism, in hopes of someday equalizing those imbalances.
Tomorrow Makers: A Penn College Podcast
Coming to you from the campus of Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, PA, this tomorrow-minded podcast dives into impactful topics like diversity and inclusion and engaging societal and cultural considerations. Stories explore how we learn, live, work, and play at Penn College and across the world. Through authentic dialogue with faculty, students, staff, and industry experts, our goal is to spark meaningful conversations that satisfy the curiosity that connects us all. Each unique episode taps into our guest’s “passion project” or area of expertise.
On the Media
On the Media tackles sticky issues with a frankness and transparency that has built trust with over one million weekly radio and podcast listeners.
This program explores complex economic issues and empowers listeners with information to analyze not only their own financial situation but the economy at large.
In the interest of full disclosure, the creator of and collaborators for this guide identify with some, but not all of the oppressed identities presented here. As members of the Penn College community, we strive to encourage diversity, inclusion, awareness, equality, and equity. While I have made an attempt to collect and present some of the more timely, relevant, and quality resources on the topics of oppression, I recognize that my collaborators and I are still susceptible to our own implicit biases, privilege, and perspectives. Given our own limited experiences, any thoughts, comments, or suggestions, particularly from members of any marginalized populations, are sincerely welcomed and greatly appreciated.