Privilege is a highly controversial topic that is not truly understood by most people. Through reading this paper you will learn about the key points from the article, A Social Worker’s Reflectionzaon Power, Privilege, and Oppression written by Michael S. Spencer and the article White Privilege: Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh. The paper will include my personal beliefs on the topic of privilege and even some of my own personal privilege that are in my knapsack that have helped me along my way in life. There will also be a point where I have the ability to inform you about how privilege affect people and how they can positively affect people who do not receive them. Privileges impacts many groups of people in many different ways. Privilege affects people in a number of different ways and many people do not truly understand how these privileges affect those who they do not include. In the story, A Social Worker’s Reflection on Power, Privilege, and Oppression, Michael S. Spencer touches on some very important details when it comes to oppression, power, and privilege of different groups. The impacted groups can include those made up of people who are racially diverse, those who are a different gender or those who are part of the LGBT community. (Spencer) Each …show more content…
Spencer, and White Privilege: Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh, a better understanding of oppression and how it relates to privilege when it comes to diverse groups of people can be attained. As the paper went on you learned about the programs that are available for those who needed the support. The reader was informed about programs available for those who need support. I included my thoughts on privilege and how it affects me as well as others. I was even able to share my ideas of how these privilege are still beneficial to those without the privilege of which we
The two articles that had a profound impact to my understanding of race, class and gender in the United States was White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh and Imagine a Country by Holly Sklar. McIntosh explains the keys aspects of unearned advantage (a privilege that one group hold over another) as well as conferred dominance (the act of voluntarily giving another group power) and the relationship that these factors hold when determine power of a social group. Additionally, the purpose of McIntosh’s article was to demonstrate the privilege that certain individuals carry and how that translates to the social structures of our society. Furthermore, conferred dominance also contributes to the power of the dominant group
Today in the United States of America people are both privileged and oppressed based on their diversity markers and social locations. These advantages and disadvantages are put in place by the people whom are in power, or otherwise known as the government and other leading officials. This is a major issue in today’s society that often tends to be masked by the many other issues within the country as well as by the privileged people. Many people who experience privilege tend to believe that privilege and oppression do not exist and that everyone has equal opportunity, but that is not the case privilege and oppression does exist and it can be seen every day in society. After a careful review of Dena Samuel’s “Matrix Model of Oppression and Privilege” I identified myself as rather privileged due to my social and diversity locations on her model.
Dr. Peggy McIntosh looks at white privilege, by “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” She describes white privilege as almost a special check or coin that she gets to cash in on. Dr. McIntosh tells that white privilege has been a taboo and repressed subject – and that many white people are taught not to see or recognize it. However, she is granted privileges (McIntosh 30). Dr. McIntosh goes on to describe twenty-six ways in which her skin-color grants her certain privileges. In example twenty, she describes how she can buy “…posters, postcards, picture books…” and other items that “…feature people of my race” (32). Additionally, in her first example, she talks about being able to be in the “company of people of my race most of the time” (McIntosh 31). Instances in which a privilege person would not even recognize unless they were looking, show evidence for white privilege. People take these advantages for granted because they simply expect them. Due to the lack of melatonin in her skin, she was granted privileges and her skin served as an asset to her. Dr. McIntosh conveys how her privilege is not only a “favored state,” but also a power over other
Privileges are things that a person receives that gives them an advantage over most people (Merriam-Webster). These are benefits that only certain people receive for being in a certain group or discourse. Peggy McIntosh, director of the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, wrote “White Privilege and Male Privilege” and states “I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privileges, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege” (605). She argues that whites and males receive certain privileges, yet they do not even notice them. This shows that different races and women are still put at a disadvantage, but the people who receive the benefits are blind to the problem. Many people will argue that she is correct while some others will explain why this not is the case.
It is important to understand how privilege affects others because it allows you to see how other people can be affected in different situations on a daily basis. It allows you to picture yourself in their perspectives and to better understand how a person’s ethnic background, sexual orientation, and social class can mean the difference in how others treat them.
Personal privilege is a topic that I have truly never thought about before this year. Privilege is taken for granted everyday, and people never think about how it affects their life. I grew up in New York City in a small, five floor walk up apartment. I am a white, heterosexual female and although I believed my life to be somewhat challenging, I learned that I have many privileges that have gone unrecognized. A primary reason my understanding of privilege has changed was due to the event that I attended. I listened to the presenter, Toshia Shaw a survivor of sex trafficking, tell her story and bring awareness to the topic of sex trafficking which genuinely allowed me to reflect on my privilege. The readings, guest speakers, and activities in class have allowed me to deepen my knowledge of personal privilege revolving around many topics; including sexism, heterosexism, ageism, racism, transgender oppression, and religious oppression.
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,
The concept of privilege intersects with the treatment of persons with disabilities in many ways. In order to first understand how it intersects we must first define the word privilege. Privilege refers to the “rights, advantages and protection enjoyed by some at the expense of and beyond the rights, advantages, and protections available to others” (= , Ch 5). According to Peggy McIntosh, “We usually think of privilege as being a favored state, whether earned or conferred by birth or luck” (White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, 2). Privilege intersects with the treatment of people with disabilities because “privilege is socially constructed to benefit the member of the dominant group” (=, ch 5). For example, an able-bodied person does
With all of these facts, the author tries to prove that racial differences and privileges appear exaggerated and unrealistic. The privileged and less privileged exist at all levels of society. Duke wants white people to understand that they are in the same position as all other races. The awareness of “white privilege” is only a fallacy that causes feel of guilt without foundation.
Ideas of community, social progress, and culture are an ever-evolving social work issue. How do we as social workers choose to approach needs of groups and communities at the macro level? In order to grasp an understanding of true helping systems it is important for one to have a range of knowledge to justly participate within the formal helping structures an models that comprise of the social work field. In attempt to create our identity as active justice based social workers it is essential for one to conceptualize the framework of intersectionality. According to Kirsten-Ashmen, “Intersectionality involves the idea that people are complex and can belong to multiple, overlapping diverse groups “The intersectional perspective acknowledge the breath of the human experience, instead of conceptualizing social relationships and identities separately in terms of either race or class or gender or age or sexual orientation”; rather an intersectional approach focuses on the “interactional affects” of belonging to multiple groups (p. 48).” In order to remain committed to intersectionality I will apply theories and models to a progressing community in the city of Boston. A critical analysis of the strengths and weakness within each theory related to the specific community will be discussed. I will expose the intersecting layers, allowing for identity development through the lens of the macro social worker. I will begin by discussing my experience through the research process with my team members. After giving a detailed description of the project we can further explore the empowerment theory and systems theory to better explain the development of Dudley Street. The two theories are able to give an understanding of Roxbury’s forward progre...
Through reading this paper you will learn about the key points from the article, A Social Worker’s Reflection on Power, Privilege, and Oppression written by Michael S. Spencer and the article White Privilege: Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh. Then the paper will include my personal beliefs on the topic of privilege and even some of my own personal privilege that are in my knapsack and that have helped me along my way in life. Finally, There will also be a point in the paper where I will have the ability to informed you about how privilege affect people and how they can positively affect people who do not receive them. Privileges impacts many groups of people in many different ways. They can be effected by
In the future, this article will affect my future practice in social work because from this article I got the impression that it is important to focus on diversity and having an appreciation for the uniqueness of my future clients. It’s the idea of working with clients who are being oppressed because of the characteristics of their identity. In a society, the issues of social justice are usually as direct result of the rules of the society that are generally created by those of higher power and privilege. Clients are impacted at the societal level because of laws that perpetuate their oppressive status. Knowing and understanding this injustice allows me to advocate for change because it’s about respect and upholding dignity for a
One must consider the nature of oppression and how it is present within social work. The nature of oppression infiltrates all aspects of life. Social work theorist, defines oppression as “relations that divide people into dominant or superior groups and subordinate or inferior ones. These relations of domination consist of the systematic devaluing of the attributes and contributions of those deemed inferior, and their exclusion from the social resources available to those in the dominant group”. When humans experience a perceived threat to their personal identities and lack the ability to maintain and affirm a unique identity, they exclude others by contrasting themselves against a constructed, and inferior, identity of the other. To better
Discrimination and oppression are some of the tear-jerking issues happening around us, as a social worker we have to be against discrimination and oppression. Social workers have to advocate for the oppressed and discriminated. It is upon us to take a stand and stop discrimination and oppression. Social workers act as anti-discriminatory practitioners and anti-oppressive practitioners to advocate for social justice and the equality of people. This essay seeks to critically explain that when social workers do not challenge oppression and discrimination no one will.
Privilege is when you have something you benefit over others, you are at an advantage. If you ask someone who has privilege, they will say everyone has it but, each person has different types of privilege. For the privileged, most do not realize that they have advantages over other people in the world. They do not realize that they take for granted the things in their life that would be different if they did not have it. This is the situation for most of the privileged population. Specific groups of people are privileged and are even in denial about having set privilege. Privileges of one person may differ from the privileges of another. When I look around, I notice that privilege does indeed affect our lives in multiple ways, good or bad.