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    "white privilege" or "male privilege"

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    1) What do YOU BELIEVE about the concept of "white privilege" or "male privilege" or any other "privilege" people are deemed to have for simply being WHAT they are? Do you buy the argument presented by McIntosh? Why or why not? Think hard about this question: What privilege(s) do YOU possess, just for being YOU? What effect does the concept of privilege have on your beliefs of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc?

    Is America more or less tolerant and accepting of people from diverse backgrounds (this includes class, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexual orientation)? Why or why not? Is there one (or more) of these groups that YOU BELIEVE is tolerated more than the others? How might we begin to change the American culture to ensure diverse groups of people are accepted? Will this ever happen?

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    Let's take a closer look at each section, which you can consider for your final copy. I also attached an informative article to consider.


    1) What do YOU BELIEVE about the concept of "white privilege" or "male privilege" or any other "privilege" people are deemed to have for simply being WHAT they are?

    There is evidence to suggest that "white privilege" and "male privilege" are constructs that clearly exist in our society. Male privilege is a term used to describe the idea that there are rights and statuses granted to the male population in society on the basis of their biological sex that the female population is usually denied. On the other hand, "white privilege" is a term used to describe the notion that there are rights given to white population in society on the basis of being white (race).
    Kendal (1996) investigated the difficulties that persons that have a dominant culture privilege (i.e. "white privilege") experience have when they try to listen and hear how their privileges and their experiences differ from those of members of non-dominant racial groups:

    "Many well-meaning, committed White people are not able to sit with the pain and anger of people of color. We feel powerless to do anything about it, and don't want to face the fact that we are benefiting from our whiteness at the same time that our colleagues of color are being systemically excluded" (http://www.eastern.edu/publications/emme/1999spring/cullinan.html).

    b. Do you buy the argument presented by McIntosh? Why or why not?

    Therefore, based on experience and empirical evidence, McIntosh's (1990) essay "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" seems to have some serious merit. From her observations, for example, whites in the U.S. are "taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group." To illustrate these invisible systems, McIntosh wrote a list of 50 invisible privileges whites benefit from which hold true across many situations, and she pointed out that her African American co-workers could not count on these privileges. Do you agree with some of McIntosh's white privileges or all of the following privileges, as some seem more likely than others, or perhaps things have changed since 1990 in some areas, i.e. the system is becoming more visible? McIntosh's (1990) proposes:

    1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
    2. I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me.
    3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.
    4. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.
    5. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
    6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.
    7. When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization," I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.
    8. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.
    9. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.
    10. I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race.
    11. I can be casual about whether or not to listen to another person's voice in a group in which s/he is the only member of his/her race.
    12. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser's shop and find someone who can cut my hair.
    13. Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial reliability.
    14. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.
    15. I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.
    16. I can be pretty sure that my children's teachers and employers will tolerate them ...

    Solution Summary

    By addressing the questions, this solution addresses aspects of several sociological concepts, such as "white privilege" or "male privilege" and accepting diversity in American culture. References are provided.