February 6, 2013
- Difficult Conversation 3: “I Don’t Feel Very Privileged”: Differing Perceptions of Power and Advantage
- Time: 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
- Location: Lamoine Room, University Union
- Description: “I Don’t Feel Very Privileged: Differing Perceptions of Power and Privilege,” the third 2012-2013 Difficult Conversation, is part of a series of informal discussions, begun last year, that offers the campus community an opportunity to talk about issues that arise when people unfamiliar with others’ backgrounds, values, or experiences are asked to work and live side by side.
The Oxford online dictionary privilege in part as “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.” In the past few decades privilege, at least in the United States, has often been combined with “white,” as in white privilege, and “male,” as in male privilege. Do these really exist, especially in a diverse society that has struggled to level the playing field with policies like affirmative action and laws like Title IX? Does being white or male still mean a person has benefits and advantages people of color and women don't have—even with our country’s current economic struggles?
And class? Do rich people automatically have advantages that poor people don't have because they are rich? Or sexuality—do straight people enjoy more or fewer benefits than gay people? What has been your experience of privilege? Do you see it? Have you been affected by it? Have you questioned where it comes from or if it can be increased or shared?
This conversation will provide an opportunity to address all of these questions and to explore more deeply the complexity of identity. Individuals cannot be identified by a single characteristic. Their gender, class, race/ethnicity, and sexuality intersect to produce individuals who may identify as, for example, white, male and gay or black, female, and poor. The “intersectionality” may affect the privilege a person enjoys—or not. DifCon3 will provide the opportunity to talk about this.
Difficult Conversations are open to all faculty, staff, and students. Last year, DifCon prompted many positive evaluations comments like this one: “Today made me feel more aware that it is okay to ask the questions you want to.” DifCon3 will allow more questions and more discussion.
The Difficult Conversations Series is sponsored by Western's Expanding Cultural Diversity Project, the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research, the University Diversity Council, the Office of Student Activities, and the University Professionals of Illinois Local 4100.
- Contact Information:
Phone: (309) 298-1528
- Source: Multicultural