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Discrimination and Oppression Case Study

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Kevin goes to clean out his locker after he was fired from being a manager and returns his apron and gate pass so that he may receive his final paycheck. As he goes to his locker, he sees that someone has written on his locker in black pen, in capital letters: G.A.Y. Written under each of the corresponding capital letters is "got, AIDS, yet?" He is, of course, angered but not surprised. He opens his locker and finds that a pamphlet had been inserted through the locker's small vent opening. It is a religious pamphlet advertising an ex-gay ministry that says, "God loves a sinner. You can change and live a righteous life and avoid the flames of hell." It lists a phone number and goes on to say that homosexuality is the work of the devil and is a sin against God.

What should Kevin do, if anything, in this situation?
In what ways do culture and religion play into this scenario?
Why is there so much attention paid to Kevin and his personal life? Why does he stand out, and why is this a problem?
Are there any parallels or connections with Kevin's situation and other minority groups?

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Solution Summary

The solution provides information, insight and advise in doing a review on the case of Kevin (see above). Questions listed are discussed and provided answers. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.

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AE 105878/Xenia Jones

Likely Response

Clearly, Kevin is discriminated against, even oppressed in this scenario. All American companies and businesses are subject to equal opportunity laws and across the United States discriminating against an individual because of their gender/sexual orientation being the cause behind management's decision to discriminate against them or oppress them in the workplace is prohibited. All individuals are protected in this regard and any individual or group behaving in such a manner are abusing the recipient of their actions. Here, Kevin was subjected to workplace discrimination. In the workplace, power is in the hands of managers and owners - those who direct the structure of the organization. If managers and co-workers abuse the structure to impose their personal prejudices against an individual they see as 'unacceptable', hurting and making life difficult for the target of their actions, then what they are committing is discriminative, prejudicial and oppressive. Kevin should respond in a manner that protects not just his dignity, but his safety. A visit to a sympathetic advocacy group would help. He should make a statement ...

Solution provided by:
  • MPhil/PhD (IP), Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • MA, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • Certificate, Geva Ulpan (via Universita Tel Aviv)
  • BA, University of the Philippines
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