Essay on Privilege Is Not An Object

Essay on Privilege Is Not An Object

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According to researchers Frances Maher and Mary Kay Tetreault, “Privilege, in its root meaning, pertains to a law--in this case often silent and unseen--that works for or against individuals and groups” (2009). In other words, although privilege is not an object, it is real. Privilege has been demonstrated in various forms of inequality and prejudice all throughout the United States’ history. From not allowing all races to become citizens of the U.S. prior to the Fourteenth Amendment to controlling who got to vote, privilege continues to impact societies. Currently, racial privilege has had a large effect on young adults, such as those in the workforce. Here, privilege negatively affects young people by limiting their hiring opportunities, the diversity in the workplace, and promotions.
In the United States, racial privilege effectively impacts young adults in search of jobs. Rather than people getting hired because of their knowledge, skills, and/or abilities, some employers are making their decisions based on people’s names. In a Marquette University study, researchers found evidence that suggested that “people with common names were more likely to be called from prospective employers and/or hired, and those with rare names were least likely to be hired” (Goudreau, 2015). Of all the people who apply for a certain job, it is possible that the employer will decide to hire the applicants with easier to pronounce names, despite the others’ qualifications. In another study cited by Goudreau, Anglo-sounding names got nearly 50% more callbacks than candidates with ethnic-sounding names. That a name can dictate whether or not someone gets a job demonstrates the unfair advantages of privilege.
Not only does privilege play a role before ...


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...loy someone solely on their name, rather than their skills or knowledge. It also controls the number of employees from diverse backgrounds in a work environment, often decreasing the sense of connection among the employees of color and the majority. Lastly, privilege restrains young adults from reaching higher-ranked professions. Although it is already difficult for people to get hired due to their ethnic-sounding name, there are also often barriers imposed on the minorities once they obtain a job, preventing them from progressing. If the effects of privilege were to end, the workforce and productivity level in the United States would improve due the equal treatment of its employees from diverse backgrounds. Additionally, the lowering of privilege would benefit employers and business leaders all around the U.S. because of the increase of work productivity and profit.

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