Unearned advantages that are highly valued but restricted to certain groups
(National Association of School Psychologists, 2020).
Privilege "refers to certain social advantages, benefits, or degrees of prestige and respect that an individual has by virtue of belonging to certain social identity groups. Within American and other Western societies, these privileged social identities—of people who have historically occupied positions of dominance over others—include whites, males, heterosexuals, Christians, and the wealthy, among others. Thus, privilege exists across a variety of dimensions, including race, gender, social class, sexual orientation, religion, and citizenship status" (Garcia, 2020).
White privilege should be viewed as a built-in advantage, separate from one’s level of income or effort (National Association of School Psychologists, 2020).
White privilege refers to the unearned advantages afforded to people who are assumed, based largely on complexion and related physical features, to be of European ancestry. Examples include:
White Privilege simply means that the color of your skin has not made the challenges of your life harder than they inherently were.
The Privilege Institute This link opens in a new window lists the following as examples of white privilege:
White privilege is—perhaps most notably in this era of uncivil discourse—a concept that has fallen victim to its own connotations. The two-word term packs a double whammy that inspires pushback. 1) The word white creates discomfort among those who are not used to being defined or described by their race. And 2) the word privilege, especially for poor and rural white people, sounds like a word that doesn’t belong to them—like a word that suggests they have never struggled (Collins, 2018).
The terms "Privilege" and "White Privilege" can garner strong reactions. People may bristle about the connotation that privilege brings - that they are wealthy. But, White Privilege doesn't always equal wealth. It doesn't mean:
Collins, C. (2018). What is white privilege, really?. https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/fall-2018/what-is-white-privilege-really This link opens in a new window
García, J. D. (2020). Privilege (social inequality). Salem Press Encyclopedia This link opens in a new window
National Association of School Psychologists. (2020). Understanding race and privilege. https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/diversity-and-social-justice/social-justice/understanding-race-and-privilege This link opens in a new window