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Classism is the systematic oppression of subordinate social class groups, or the perception of social class, to benefit and strengthen dominant class groups. It is the systematic attribution of characteristics of value and ability according to social class. -Class Action [1]

Examples of Classism

Opportunities placing a higher value on unpaid work as a show of character

  • Many students simply cannot do hours upon hours of volunteer work due to the fact it's non-paying and they have school, and a part-time job to help pay for school, to do. Some scholarship or job opportunities, where financial incentives are provided, may become less accessible to these students.

High-paying jobs out of reach

  • Some higher paying careers, such as doctors and lawyers, require further and often high cost education, making it inaccessible.
Shaming those who cannot afford more sustainable options.
  • Shaming people who cannot afford more sustainable alternatives reinforces classism. For example, shaming an individual for purchasing fast fashion when they cannot afford many of the alternatives available, or shaming an individual for being unable to purchase an electric car despite its higher upfront cost.
Extracurriculars and skill-building opportunities out of reach
  • Opportunities to participate in extracurricular recreation, whereby people can learn new skills, exercise, or seek other benefits (i.e joining a soccer team, ski club, dance team, singing lessons etc) may be inaccessible due to their cost.
Poor health due to inaccessible health care
  • Health-related issues from neglected care, due to the cost of seeking care (i.e. in Canada dental, prescriptions, nutrition, mental health etc), may make it difficult for folks to participate in activities or opportunities available to those who can meet their health needs.
Vacations and getaways
  • While many are escape isolation and COVID at secondary private properties, such as at cottages or chalets, others have remained isolated in their homes.

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