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Chapter 2 - Privilege, Oppression and Difference
Transcript of Chapter 2 - Privilege, Oppression and Difference
Mapping Difference: Who Are We?
• “The Diversity Wheel” was developed by Marilyn Loaden and Judy Rosener
• Doesn’t say much about the unique individual
• Says a lot about the social reality that shapes everyone’s lives in powerful ways
• The trouble around diversity then isn’t just that people differ from one another. The trouble is produced by a world organized in ways that encourage people to use difference to include or exclude, reward or punish, credit or discredit, elevate or oppress, value or devalue, leave alone or harass.
• Peggy McIntosh, describes privilege as existing when one group has something of value that is denied to others simply because of the groups they belong to, rather than because of anything they’ve done or failed to do.
The Social Construction of Difference
• James Baldwin, a late African American novelist shared the idea that there is no such thing as whiteness or blackness, more generally, race.
• Baldwin was telling us that race and its categories do not have a significance outside of the systems of privilege and oppression where they were created in the first place
Difference is Not the Problem
Fear is the problem
People are naturally afraid of what they don’t know or understand
If we take difference and diversity as reasons for fear and occasions for trouble, it’s because we’ve learned to think about them in ways that make for fear and trouble.
Two Types of Privilege
• The first is
- things of value that all people should have.
• The second is
- giving one group power over another.
What Privilege Looks Like In Everyday Life
• According to Allan G ‘Privilege’ has become a word that has multiple views and people rarely talk about it because it is not easy to without the fear that you may make someone feel uncomfortable or feeling a sense of oppression because they do not belong to that privileged group of individuals.
• We hope that from our presentation, you have a better understanding of the social construction of privilege and realize the different types that exist, so that you feel more comfortable and are therefore are able to openly talk about both power and privilege among others.
What Is Privilege?
Privilege as a Paradox
• Privilege pertains to a group, not an individual.
• You can have access to privilege when your stigma is discreet.
• It is not about who we really are, it is about what others identify us as.
Consequences of Privilege
• First, privilege is embedded in society as much as it is in the personalities of individuals.
• Fixing the problems of privilege requires change in the institutions, not just the individuals
• Second, being privileged without feeling privileged.
• Reference groups
• Third, being under privileged without feeling so.
Privilege and Happiness
• Privilege does not guarantee happiness, but it does increase the odds of having advantages.
• Those who have privilege may feel guilty of their dominance over others.
• For every category that is privileged, one or more categories are oppressed in relation to it.
• Individuals vary with their personal experiences of oppression.
• Society itself does not oppress, oppression comes from the social categories.
• Just because you belong to a privileged category that has an oppressive relationship with another, does not mean you are oppressive as an individual.
Critical Questions #1
Explain and describe how you as a person have experienced privilege and oppression. How do you think males and females experience privilege and oppression differently?
Critical Question #2
As said on pg. 16, "we may not realize how routinely we form such impression until we run into someone who doesn't fit neatly into one of our categories, especially gender or sexual orientation.
In regards to the diversity wheel and gender being one of its inner categories, why do you think Storm's parent's decision sparked such a controversy over the world? And what effects do you think this decision could have on the child itself?
Critical Question #3
In relation to the Native American and African American example, why do you think that those who are oppressed are provided certain privileges while other oppressed groups are not?
Critical Question #4
In relation to labeling and the diversity wheel, why do you believe that individuals label others as only one aspect of their full self-identity?
Sarah Stewart, Tasha Blanco, Moe Itani & Marie Duguay.