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ELIC 140 - Luman - Civic Engagement

Use this guide to get started on your writing assignments for ELIC 140

Frameworks of oppression (Iris Marion Young)

  • Cultural Dominance (or Cultural Imperialism)
    • the establishment of the culture of the ruling class as the norm
  • Marginalization
    • relegating or confining a group of people to a lower social standing or outer edge of society
    • examples: people of the non-dominant race, people who are elderly, disabled, or unemployed
  • Powerlessness
    • powerless people are dominated by the ruling class and are situated to take orders and rarely have the right to give them
    • examples: professional vs. non-professional labor, sexism, racism
  • Violence
    • members of some groups must fear random, unprovoked attacks on their persons or property
    • examples: physical violence, intimidation, harassment, ridicule
  • Exploitation
    • the act of using people's labors to produce profit while not compensating them fairly
    • examples: gender exploitation (paying women less) or racial exploitation (slavery)

Find background information on oppression in the Gale Virtual Reference Library:

How to Use Library Databases

This video shows you how to use the Gale eBooks database and the EBSCOhost database.

Recommended databases

Using & Finding Books

Why Use Books:

Use books to read broad overviews and detailed discussions of your topic. You can also use books to find primary sources, which are often published together in collections.

Where Do I Find Books?

You'll use the library catalog to search for books, ebooks, articles, and more.

What if MJC Doesn't Have What I Need?

If you need materials (books, articles, recordings, videos, etc.) that you cannot find in the library catalog, use our interlibrary loan service.

Finding and Using eBooks

This video shows you how to find and use eBooks from the MJC library.

Sample topics and materials

Bracero program

Search terms: Bracero, Bracero program, guest workers

Sexual assault in the workplace

Search terms: sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual assault workplace, metoo movement

Child labor

Search terms: child labor, child labor laws, child welfare, child labor + country (such as: child labor India), child labor + product (such as: child labor tobacco)

Organ trafficking

Search terms: organ trafficking, organ transplants, human trafficking

International adoptions

Search terms: international adoption, intercountry adoption, orphanages

Exploitation in the trucking industry

Search terms: trucking, trucking industry, truck drivers

Uyhgur people

Search terms: Uyhgur, Uygur, Uighur

Rohingya people

Search terms: Rohingya, Myanmar, refugees

Economic Oppression in the Taxi Industry

Search terms in EBSCO databases: Taxicabs New York


Search terms: Redlining, Discrimination in mortgage loans

Syrian Refugees

Search terms for general articles about the conditions in Turkey for refugees: Syrian refugees in Turkey (limit search by year for most recent articles)

Police Brutality

Child Soldiering


Search terms: femicide, violence against women, crimes against women, intimate partner violence

Israeli Occupation of Palestine

Search terms: Palestine, Palestinian Authority, Arab-Israel Conflict, Palestinian Refugees, Palestinian oppression, Palestine occupation, Hamas, Palestine Liberation Organization, Intifada, West Bank, Gaza

Masculine / Patriarchal Cultures

Search terms: Patriarchy, patriarchal system, male dominance, masculinity, oppression of women. Try also combining terms like patriarchy Mexico, or patriarchy India, or patriarchy Islam, or patriarchy Christianity.


Search terms: redlining, housing segregation, residential segregation, housing inequality, housing inequity

Owned: A Tale of Two Americas (a film about home ownership and the creation of two divergent Americas)