Thursday, 15 March 2012

OPINION: Piotr Żuk-- On Class Discrimination

Identical social phenomena are often lablled with different names. It all depends who they are associated with. The language used everyday in the media, government announcements and casual conversation is full of prejudices and stereotypes. Whenever we hear about poor neighbourhoods in the media, the same connotations appear-- dysfunctional communtites inhabited by alcoholics and broken families where one should think twice about venturing into at night. According to capitalist morality and market culture, poverty itself has become a pathology.

The smiling faces we see in countless adverts are usually middle-class faces. They are the heroes of our time. They act as role models for the rest of society, most of whom aspire to be like them. They display the greatest virtues one can have in our contemporary capitalist society-- flexibility, entrepreneurship, assertiveness, creativity, innovation and other traits from the Newspeak dictionary.

The same behaviour can carry a completley different label, and can be judged much less positively, depending on its class context. If members of the lower orders are not in a stable marriage then we hear of broken homes and sexual promiscuity. In the case of the middle and upper classes we hear of free and open relationships with 'partners'.

An educated, urban, middle-class woman without a husband or stable 'partner' is simply 'single'. Her working-class equivalent is likely to be labelled an 'old spinster'.

A famous actor, journalist or singer who has homosexual tendencies is a cosmopolitan 'gay'. A working class or unemployed homosexual is just a common 'faggot'. The word 'gay' has come to signify not only sexual orientation but also lifestyle and social status. Working-class homoexuals do not spend time in trendy, big-city clubs, nor do they buy designer clothes. They cannot achieve the status of a 'gay' and so they remain lowly 'faggots'.

When a middle-class teenager smashes a shop window, it is a manifestation of growing pains which needs to be analysed and rationalised-- perhaps he suffers from ADHD? Perhaps he had a bad day at school? When a teenager from a poor family smashes a shop window then it merely illustrates his pathological background and the problematic upbringing which, 'obviously', are omnipresent in his social sphere.

The full weight of the law comes down on the inhabitants of poor neighbourhoods, who have an almost genetic predispostion to commit crime. However, actions which cause more damage, and are carried out on a much larger scale, are not even considered as crimes. In this way, one person is labelled a thief and criminal whilst another is hailed as a creative entrepreneur who has managed to find a loophole in the law. Large-scale fraud becomes so abstract that there are no laws on the books which can stop them. The perpetrators enjoy thier status as respected businessmen.

Slavoj Zizek is right when he says that the stigma of class also means a lot in feminist circles. Watching and listening to a representative of Poland's Women's Congress such as Henryka Bochniarz, one can agree with Zizek's opinion that politically active feminism "can function as an ideological tool for the upper middle-classes who wish to confirm thier superiority to the 'patriarchal and intolerant' lower orders". On one hand we have educated feminist activists with high status and income and on the other hand we have submissive, feeble-minded women from the working class. In the media it is very hard to find a working-class, non-graduate woman who calls herself a feminist. In Poland the term 'feminist' is reserved for independent, well-educated women from large cities, many of whom schooled in the academic sphere of 'gender studies'.

For these reasons, class tensions in Poland are often articulated by hostility to different cultural and identity groups, as David Ost has written. The enemy is not a capitalist but rather a German, a Jew, a feminist or a middle-class homosexual. Feminists and gays take flak from 2 directions: in a generally conservative society they face hostility due to their beliefs and sexuality but they also face hostility from the poorer sections of society as they are seen as symbols of the rich and powerful classes.

Although the language of class warfare is no longer to be found in either the Polish media or Polish political debate, our society is full of class prejudice. Classism is a cultural form of racism in which the hostility is not aimed towards those of different races but those of different social class. In Poland we have anti-semitism without Jews, racism without ethnic minorities and hidden classism without the language of class in public debate. This does not mean that we live in a classless society, far from it: class tensions and prejudices affect us all, all day, every day.

Taken from 'Przegłąd' magazine nr.11 (637) 18/03/12


Brett Hetherington said...

"Poverty itself has become a pathology...according to capitalist morality and market culture." Piotr Żuk gets it right here. Also, he reminded me of that Bob Dylan line "Steal a little and they through you in jail, steal a lot and they make you aking" when he talked about working class theft. If we have the poor to blame, or Jews to point the finger at then we can ignore the deeper causes of society's problems. Sometimes it seems like so little has changed in the last few hundred years in Europe.

Czarny Kot said...

Hi Brett, thanks for the comment.

With the way things are polarising, it seems that we are only given a black and white view of the world.

Either the poor are completely at fault for their poverty or all poverty is the fault of our economic system, with personal responsibility playing no part at all.

Personally, I believe that most poverty is caused by macroeconomic factors but at the same time I am enough of a pessimist to believe that there will always be some sort of pathological underclass, no matter how just and prosperous a society may be.The problem with the discrimination that Mr. Żuk describes is that it does not differentiate between these people and those who are simply poor.

PS: Which song does the Dylan quote come from?

Brett Hetherington said...

Yes, most of the media avoids any trace of "grey areas on any subject, poverty or the causes of it included. Sadly, I think you are also right about the eternal existence of a pathological underclass.

That Dylan line is from "Sweetheart Like You," off "Infidel", one his best ever albums, in my view.

BTW, this might interest you:

vitenam visa in Slovenia said...

thank you for the infomasinya admin

vitenam visa in Slovenia said...

Where is Vietnam embassy in Slovenia?
How to get Vietnam visa in Slovenia
Vietnam visa requirement for Slovenian
Proposal for extending Russia visa to Vietnam
Where is Vietnam embassy in Italy?
How to get Vietnam visa in Italy
Vietnam visa requirement for Italian
Vietnam coconut festival – The biggest ever
Where is Vietnam embassy in Spain?
How to get Vietnam visa in Spain
Vietnam visa requirement for Spanish
Vietnam Tourist guidebook the 7th edition has been…
Free buses in Quang Ninh
Vietnam visa requirement for French
Where is Vietnam embassy in France?

Tendi Agdaniwan said...

terimakasih atas informasinya
obat tradisional asam lambung

mebel jepara murah said...

Nice article Thanks for giving me this information
kursi tamu mewah

Bali Driver said...

Nice post, you have good writing skill
Thank you for sharing this amazing post
Visit my travel blog : Bali Driver and Bali Tours

jual furniture said...

kamar tidur anak
kamar tidur
kamar tidur minimalis
kursi makan
kitchen set
sofa tamu
table tv

dipan klasik
kursi pantai
kursi louis
dipan rococo
kursi rococo
kursi sudut
kursi tamu minimalis

sofa klasik
set kursi makan
meja rias
meja kantor
meja belajar
lemari pakaian
lemari buku
box bayi

kursi tamu said...


Dendi Apriadi said...

Nice article Thanks for giving me this information
Modern Living Room
Living Room Decor 2015
Living Room Table Sets
Living Room Theater
Living Room Furniture

Cara Tradisional Mengobati Encok dan Rematik said...

terima kasih banyak karena telah bersedia menyajikan informasi yang begitu informatf seperti ini. semoga makin sukses.

Evee Faranisa said...

indeed article is very useful to everyone, thank you for the information that has been presented successfully yes obat kuat seks pria | Vig Power Capsule | obat kuat modern

Jual Obat Sipilis Ampuh said...

Terimakasih Gan Infonya.Dan Sekalian Ijin Nitip Gan Obat Sipilis,Obat Sipilis Ampuh,Obat Sipilis Manjur,Obat Sipilis Alami,Obat Sipilis Herbal,Obat Sipilis Tradisional,Obat Sipilis Mujarab,Jual Obat Sipilis,Jual Obat Sipilis Ampuh,Gejala Penyakit Sipilis,Ciri Penyakit Sipilis,Penyebab Penyakit Sipilis,Cara Mengobati Sipilis,Cara Menyembuhkan Sipilis,Pengobatan Penyakit Sipilis,Obat Raja Singa,Obat Raja Singa Ampuh.

putra rantau said...


Heru said...

I love it, I think it's a great step in the direction of giving Good Articles the credibility it deserves!

Indonesia Traveling
Desa Beng, Pusat Industri Baju Barong Paling Terkenal
Pantai Kusamba, Pantai Yang Tenang Di Sebelah Tenggara Bali
Pulau Serangan, Pulau Kecil Yang Menawan Di Wilayah Tenggara Pulau Bali
Kebun Raya Purwodadi
Pantai Pandawa, Objek Wisata Yang Indah di Bali
Danau Kelimutu, Danau Unik Tiga Warna di Indonesia
Pura Rambut Siwi, Candi Dengan Panorama Yang Menawan
Pantai Kedonganan Dan Jimbaran - Tempat yang sempurna untuk Seafood Dinner
Taman Nasional Teluk Cendrawasih
Taman Botani Di Kebun Raya Bogor
Pulau Biawak, Jawa Barat - sebuah tujuan Diving dengan Keunikan Tersendiri
Tiga Tips Investasi Emas yang Perlu Anda Ketahui
Bisakah Kaya Dari Pasar Modal?
Yuk Nabung Saham

Cara memulai usaha said...

Terima kasih infonya gan.. Sy mohon ijin nitip ya gan..
Otak merupakan organ yang sangat vital ditubuh kita. Otak mampu mengontrol segala aktifitas yang kita lakukan sehari-hari. Namun, rutinitas setiap hari yang semakin tinggi dapat membuat fungsi otak menjadi menurun. Untuk menjaga fungsi otak agar tetap bagus, maka kita perlu Nutrisi Otak. Nutrisi otak bisa berasal dari makanan dan suplemen. Salah satu Nutrisi Otak untuk anak dan Dewasa yang bagus yaitu OSB . Nutrisi Otak OSB Omar Smart Brain terbuat dari bahan herbal alami. Vitamin Otak OSB sudah terbukti dapat meningkatkan daya ingat dan konsentrasi. Harga OSB Vitamin Otak juga terjangkau.

David John said...

You have done it really well. You have to post many more blogs here all of your blogs are full of creativity and That is just amazing. Indian Escorts in Dubai

Escorts Agency
Escorts in Islamabad
Escorts in Karachi
Escorts in Lahore
Escorts in Islamabad

Escortspk said...

The Modern Islamabad Escorts Females **03359379999**
The High Quality Islamabad Escorts Service Offering Best experienced Modern Females who know how to fulfill your suppressed desires **03359379999**. They are brilliant in work and the Girls of our Escorts in Islamabad will serve all your requirements with full of energy and they provide Best Girlfriend Experience We hope that you seek to find a dream beautiful ladies will become true Call us.

viplahoregirlspk said...

We Have Best Post and very helpful so Open My link Lahore Escorts and you need a service so then call me and you need a other citys services so open this links
Escorts in Islamabad
Escorts in Karachi

VIP Girls in Karachi said...

You have to post many more blogs here all of your blogs are full of creativity and That is just amazin

Escorts in Karachi

vipgirlsin islamabad said...

if you understand it, do not open my novel, because the "system" does not believe in a second chance. Escorts in Islamabad

VIP Girls in Lahore said...

Escorts in Lahore
Call Girls in Lahore
Lahore Escorts
Female Escorts in Lahore
Independent Escorts in Lahore
VIP Escorts in Lahore
Girls For Sex in Lahore
Escorts Lahore
Model Escorts in Lahore
Student Escorts in Lahore

Hania Fahad said...

We've won the best modest teenagers and, moreover, mates, so you can have the best time with them when you're ready to offer them the best time. The Islamabad Call Girls are the best decision without uncertainties, since you can choose them to have fun in the most perverse way. They will be young and can influence you to feel young, compared to any doubt, they all ended up too well, in addition to the possibility of choosing stocks in Islamabad or in case you decide too. In most cases, there is no doubt; This is the best decision, since we are simply looking for a way to choose animated women. So, the MOST IMPORTANT PERSONALS of Islamabad escorts are the best to choose from anywhere.

VIP Girls in Karachi said...

I read your Post it's very nice and Bookmark your website.
Karachi Escorts
Karachi Escorts Agency

sana kiran said...

The Escorts in Karachi are very talented, as not only they are completely beautiful but also know how they can be best as your partners.
Karachi Escorts
We provide Escorts services in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Murree, Peshawar, Multan and many more cities in Pakistan
Pakistani Escort Services

VIP Islamabad Models said...

Thanks for sharing this information with us. We have the top-notch services available for everyone. We are an Escorting agency in Pakistan. Our Websites is VIP Islamabad Models You can contact us for hiring girls for parties’ other services.

VIP Islamabad Models said...

Nice theme,good luck and keep sharing valuable post. and you post very helpful.
Call Girls in Islamabad
Escorts in Islamabad

Dxbangels said...

I read you post its very nice and bookmark your website
Escorts in Dubai

Goggly Life said...

Thanks for sharing this information with us. We have the top-notch services available for everyone. We are an Escorting agency in Pakistan. Our Websites is Independent Escorts in Lahore and Top Escorts Agency In Lahore. You can contact us for hiring girls for parties and other services. Call Girls Escorts in Lahore

Lahore Hotties said...

Escorts in Islamabad is a famous Pakistani escort in Islamabad with ravishing models to accompany you in Islamabad. We launch This website for best adult enjoyments in which we are providing the best escorts in Islamabad. Islamabad is most living able city and really dream city for everyone. Many people come here to enjoy and spend their holidays. Our goal is to provide unique escorts service in our industry by providing our clients with the most beautiful, elegant and charming Islamabad escorts. As well as we also offer our hot and attractive largest group of Pakistani Escorts like Islamabad escorts, Lahore escorts and Karachi escorts. We take pride in the fact that all of our Islamabad models are extremely good looking, cool, and fashionable.

Top Escorts Lahore said...

Your New Post Very Helpful and Bookmark your website and Its My website Lahore Escorts and You need a Service Islamabad and Karachi So Then Open This Links
Escorts in Karachi
Escorts in Islamabad

sana.butt said...

Escorts in Lahore said...

Web are providing best escorts services in Lahore Pakistani escorts agency.

Escorts in Lahore
Escorts in Lahore
Escorts in Karachi
Escorts in Islamabad
Pakistani Escorts

Escortsinislamabad said...

escort in karachi
escorts provider in Islamabad
best escorts girls in islamabad
escort in dubai or call gril in dubai
escort provider in pakistan
call girls in india provider
call girls in kabul
call grils in bangla call now
call grils lahore
escorts in uae
escort in islamabad
escort in punjab
escorts provider
vip escorts in Islamabad

Escortsinislamabad said...

escorts in islamabad
escorts provider in Islamabad
best escorts girls in islamabad
escort in dubai or call gril in dubai
escort provider in pakistan
call girls in india provider
call girls in kabul
call grils in bangla call now
call grils lahore
call in kabul
escorts in uae
escort in islamabad
escort in punjab
escorts provider
vip escorts in Islamabad

viplahoregirlspk said...

Hello Guys How are you I am New Hear in your website and If you need Escorts Service So Then Visit My Website Escorts in Karachi For you Fun and You Need a Service Lahore and Islamabad So Then Open this Links.
Escorts in Islamabad
Escorts in Lahore

viplahoregirlspk said...

Hello, Guys, I am New Hear in Your Blog and Its May website
Escorts in Lahore
Escorts in Islamabad
Escorts in Karachi

Zoya said...

We Are Best Islamabad Escorts Agency in Islamabad Call +923098998125. We Have Vip, Top, Model, Elite, Student, College, School Escorts in Islamabad.

VIP Girls in Pakistan said...

I Read your Post It's Very Helpful and bookmarks your Site.
Best Models in Escorts in Islamabad For Your Fun and We have best Girls in Lahore If you need a Service in Lahore Then Open This Links Lahore Escorts

VIP Escort in Dubai said...

Thanks for making this weblog. So happy the mod. Pakistani Escorts in Dubai Plan is slowly taking place. I desire and pray it maintains to the subsequent offerings Indian Escorts in Dubai It also makes me proud that we are seeking to increase our very own weapon systems with the restricted finances that we've got.

VIP Girls in Islamabad said...

Thanks for the praise. Rest confident that I will follow the development of this Islamabad Escorts. I will post it as quickly as there is clean information regarding this weblog. Escorts in Islamabad

Top Escorts Lahore said...

I would really like to thanks for the efforts you have got made in writing Escorts in Lahore I am hoping the same first-rate paintings from you within the destiny as properly. Lahore Escorts

VIP Girls in Karachi said...

It is best Article post ever I see many others Site post but your post is much unique than other post… Escorts in Karachi Karachi Escorts

Vip Girls In Lahore said...

VIP Girls in Lahore have delightful dream teenager girls for you in Lahore. The stunning and prepared escort will be at your Call Girls in Lahore at whatever point you need. VIP Girls in Lahore can be your best female partners in moving parties for fun and entertainment services and provide уоu best Escorts in Lahore. You will satisfy and feel more comfortable with them as you require.