The Social Theory Of Crivilege And Social Advantages

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The social theory of privilege states that unearned or otherwise reasonably unacquirable advantages are social endowed to a particular person or group of people. These unearned advantages are often granted on the basis of demographic features such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or generation, although other criteria (such as ability, height, or attractiveness) may confer such advantages. There lie subtle distinctions between advantages that are earned but reasonably acquirable and advantages that are earned but reasonably unacquirable. For example, education confers social advantages, but not privilege; however, the access to education is a reasonably unacquirable advantage and would be considered a privilege. The ambiguity of privilege, though,…show more content…
For example, people with naturally afro-textured hair who elect to permanently alter their hair texture into styles more accepted by eurocentric beauty standards may be afforded social advantages over their natural peers which are very similar to privileges (such as preferential treatment in job interviews). It could be argued that such individuals have earned these privileges by their payment of not being afforded those privileges by birthright. Another example of acquired privilege would be patrons of gender confirmation surgery and other cosmetic surgeries into a cisgender-passing male appearance thus acquiring male privilege. It is unclear, though, whether the more relevant privileges at play are the financial and social abilities to afford such surgeries compared to transgender people who would seek such surgeries if they had the financial assets or social support to carry them out. Privilege is multivalent in this manner, which is one of many difficulties social science researchers have in defining, identifying, and studying

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