White Privilege and Unconscious Bias


In 1988, feminist scholar Peggy McIntosh published a controversial essay, White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences through Work on Women’s Studies. A shortened version, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, was published in 1989. In these articles, McIntosh outlines her understanding of the concept of privilege in her life in the 1970s and 1980s.

Read the article here: White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh.

Thoughtfully reflect on the issues discussed in the article and discussion, address the following points:

What was your initial reaction to McIntosh’s list?
Do you think this is an accurate reflection of privilege in society during the 1970s and 1980s? Do you think it is relevant and accurate today? Why or why not?
What was your reaction to the videos? What did you agree with? What did you disagree with?
Do you think that implicit bias exists as a motivator of thought and behavior?
Do you consider racism, sexism, and discrimination based on ethnicity or religion to be primarily individual-based or systemic? Explain your answer.

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