Matrix of Domination


A Matrix of Domination is the theory used to explain inequality that exists between gender, socioeconomic classes and different races. The macro structure of the society is put into a higher focus as well as how different structures come together to create a source of dominance and inequality. A historical example of a matrix of domination is the sexual orientation where people of the opposite sex are attracted to one another. Religion is a contemporary matrix of domination as it includes different cultural systems of behaviour, which are all related to humanity with the order of existence (Collins, 2000). On the other side, age is an example of a personal matrix of domination. Ageing is the process of becoming older; hence, the older a person becomes, the higher is interest in inequality matters.  

Different ways in which matrix of dominance are portrayed in different institutions

Criminal justice

The matrix of dominance does not make people commit certain crimes; rather it encourages some crimes to be portrayed against them. In the case of Arab-Americans, racial profiling is a great issue. Is not that the Arab-Americans commits more crimes that the rest of the people, but in most cases they are accused of doing so. Such accusations are serious about committing a crime itself. The media portrays the Arab-Americans in a certain way that makes the criminal racial profiling. The accusations made by crime are based on race. However, it cannot be defined so, as an act like this is illegal (Collins, 2000). I fell that false accusations are not right and people shouldn’t be falsely accused. Is not like suggesting that the Arab Americans don’t commit a crime, but they don’t commit more crimes as compared to the other groups. I feel they ought not to be portrayed as the worst of all regarding crime.


According to Collins (2000), the media plays a very big role on how it portrays the criminal acts. The media portrays that the Arabs come from a barbaric, cruel and violent environment which is not a good act. The media must not portray negative ideas on people. I feel such actions from the media lead to stereotype.


The Arabs are not given an opportunity to participate in politics or any other respected jobs. Collins (2000) argues that the discrimination portrayed in politics is a good example of a matrix of domination as them being in politics will affect their neighbourhood.  I feel it is not good to deny a person from having freedom in politics as he might bring better development and changes in the world. However, I also fell that it is very radical to make coalitions with people who are different from you as it has never been done before.


The discrimination that the Arabs might face comes directly from their fellow religious neighbours. They tend to deny them the freedom to worship in their places of worship or discourage them from building sacred places to worship.


The Arab–Americans are segregated on racial grounds. They don’t have the freedom to attend the schools of their choice. I fell it is not good to discriminate people, but they ought to be given the freedom to get an education like the fellow American citizens. Schooling is a bit difficult as the Arab-American don’t secure good jobs; hence, the deduction that their children get is affected. They are not better positioned to give the best education to their kids as they have fewer funds to do that (Byng, 1998). Discrimination in workplaces is also discrimination in the social areas, which bring out the idea of a matrix of dominance.    

How Matrix of Dominance can be related and why it can be related

The matrix of Dominance can be related regarding race, age and sex. Knowledge is key in relating matrix of dominance. Byng, (1998) argues that people who are more educated than the others will tend to dominate over them. Through denying the Arab-American to lead the whites shows elements of dominance and resistance. Race, gender and class oppression implies that human ought to have new visions towards creating new possibilities for empowering knowledge to all. There is a high connection that exists between knowledge, consciousness and political empowerment. The relation is related due to how people think about oppression and there is need to reconceptualise the social relations of dominance and resistance. The relation of Matrix of Dominance is for the sake of offering the subordinate group new knowledge.  


One can learn that offering a subordinate group new knowledge is very empowering and greater implications will be evident where revealing new ways of knowing is done to the subordinate group. The fundamental paradigmatic shift rejects all additive approaches to oppression. Struggles of group survival suggest visions of community in opposition to the extent any dominant culture. All these experience learnt can be applied to stopping the matrix of dominance and encouraging equality to all people no matter their race and gender. Different ways in which matrix of dominance is portrayed in different institutions like; criminal justice, media, politics, religion and education can be modified to give better result to all races.


Collins, Patricia Hill. (2000). Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment. New York, Routledge.

Byng, Michelle D. (1998) Mediating Discrimination: Resisting Oppression among African-American Muslim Women. Social Problems 45(4), 473–487