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Exploring issues of power, privilege, and prejudice in American society.
White Privilege
Publication Date:
8/12/2009
Pages:
0
Session(s)
1
Product Type:
Internet Download
Adult Study, Adult Study
Product Number:
TC0353

The term "white privilege" is used to refer to the un-earned advantages that are enjoyed by those who are white in the United States. Whether we know it or not, whether we feel privileged or feel hard-pressed, white persons benefit as individuals and as a group in the present social order of our society. Many white people would prefer to ignore or deny this reality; this is one of the reasons that racism is often defined in terms of personal prejudice. However, it is an accurate portrayal of our cultural reality: some are advantaged and others are disadvantaged simply because of their race.

The sense that whites are somehow without a race is obvious in the way we speak. The default description of race is white; i.e. "A new guy finally moved into the house next door. African American guy. Seems nice." Yet you'd rarely if ever say "A new guy finally moved in next door. White guy. Seems nice." White is the default; black or Asian or Hispanic is "Other." And no matter how fair- minded we as individuals may be, we as a society have a long way to go.

Let's get started here. In this study we'll define white privilege, unmask the manifestations of white privilege in our everyday life, and discuss the impact this un-earned advantage has on people of color. Activities and discussion questions that enable us to recognize elements of white privilege in our own environment are included.

David V. Esterline is Director of the Institute for Cross-Cultural Theological Education and James G. K. McClure Professor of Theological Education at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. His works include More than a Story: Nine Studies for Women on the Parables of Jesus, which he coauthored, and two chapters in Opting for Change: A Handbook on Evaluation and Planning for Theological Education by Extension.


Michelle Hwang is Director of Christian Education at Second Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland.


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