Privilege is unearned advantages, access, and power reserved for a select group of people. Those that benefit from privilege manifest their power consciously and sub-consciously so as to maintain their exclusive control of the opportunities privilege affords them. The reach and power of one’s privilege rises and falls as the different social identities that one possesses intersect. Ultimately, if a society built on justice and equity is to be achieved, those with privilege must take tangible steps to acknowledge their privilege and work to end the unequal advantages and oppression that are created in order to perpetuate privilege. This thesis unpacks privilege through an autoethnographic examination of the author’s history. Through the use of creative nonfiction, personal stories become launching points to explore characteristics of privilege manifest in the author’s life which are emblematic of larger social groups that share many of the author’s social identities. The following characteristics of privilege are explored: merit, oppression, normalization, economic value, neutrality, blindness, and silence.
- Seeking redemption: lessons for confronting and undoing privilege
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Statement of Responsibility
by Luke Black