Privileges are special rights or immunity granted or available to only one person or a group of people.Being privileged is having things at your disposal without really suffering or working for it.For example is a privilege to have a mansion whereas to a poor person is not.Privileges usually comes with birth and the type of family you werwe born into and how you were raised.Privileges are invisible to people in the upper class in society and some middle class people.In the essay for instance the writer talks about electricity.Electricity is very common but is not everyone who can afford it.Whereas people in the upper class like Andrea are privileged to have it,Jewel and her family are not that lucky.
Andrea was uncomfortable at Jewels house for many reasons.First,she was not used to Jewels sort of environment.She was used to big houses and electricity everywhere so going to Jewels house and seeing otherwise was a cultural shock to her and because she was just eight years old she didnt really comprehend what was going on. She was not able to relate to the jokes Jewels family were saying because she wasnt used to that kind of life.To her she felt like they were humoring her and being sarcastic.She was also uncomfortable because she and her mother where the only white people there.Lastly,she found it difficult to use the bathroom in the basement to the extent that her mom had to be there with her before she used it.
In my opinion I think social differences can be overcome but its going to take a very long time because social differences started generations ago and it will not be easy changing peoples perspectives about it.This problem can be overcome if parents teach their children to accept people for who they are and not for what they stand for.In short we all must learn to love each other regardless of who we are.Anytime you are try to judge someone:put yourself in the persons shoes and if you dont like how it feels then dont do it.Instead of using our privileges as yardsticks to judge other people,we should rather be grateful to God for our privileges.
Privilege is defined as a right granted as a benefit to some and not to others. Often times privileges can be unseen to those receiving the privilege. In the article “Invisible Privilege,” Paula Rothenberg describes how the right to attend a quality school was given to her daughter Andrea, and taken away from her daughter’s friend Jewel. The privilege of attending a safe quality school was invisible to Andrea because she was so young and because she didn’t know of any other option. Jewel on the other hand knew of the privilege because her family struggled to ensure she received that privilege and because she had the privilege taken away from her. Those that go without certain privileges are more likely to be aware of them because it is something that they strive to achieve. Those that are graced with privileges are often unaware of them because they don’t know life without them. Those with privileges can often be ignorant of them too because they can forget about how they struggled to achieve them or because the privilege was given to them making it impossible for them to see the privilege.
Towards the end of her article “Invisible Privilege,” Paula Rothenberg describes how uncomfortable her eight year old daughter Andrea was when they attended Jewel’s birthday party in an underprivileged neighborhood. She explains how Andrea and she were the only white people at the party and how they were the only ones that came from a wealthier neighborhood. The other adults at the party understood the reasons for Paula and her daughter’s presence at the party, and were aware of the social awkwardness; but being adults they all knew how to deal with it. Andrea on the other hand was experiencing life without all of the privileges that she was use to for the first time. Up until that day she hadn’t really understood just how privileged she was. Due to the shock and awkwardness Andrea ended her friendship with Jewel.
It is certainly possible to overcome the social differences that Andrea and Jewel faced. The problem for Andrea was that she was just thrown into an awkward situation where she had to overcome social differences right away. Jewel on the other hand had attended a school filled with privileged students and understood that she was not as privileged in her current situation. Having seen both sides of the coin Jewel was aware of the social differences that Andrea and she faced, so it was easier for her to overcome.
Privileges are invisible to most people like upper class and much of middle class because we live with there privileges everyday. Most of the time they take it for granted. Take electricity, it is a normal thing for most people to have electricity but people in the lower class aren’t always that lucky. They KNOW that to be a privilege because there may be that day where they don’t have it and have to learn to live without. Like when they describe Jewel’s home in the reading. They said it was dark and only had one light. That may be because the parents know that they need to use it sparingly. Cause they can’t afford to light up the whole house like Andreas home. So they are conserving energy. But with the way the economy is today I believe that most people are feeling the fear of losing these “invisible” privileges.
I believe that Andrea was so uncomfortable in Jewel’s home is because it was a culture shock for her. You take a little girl who is used to one way of living and put her into a totally different situation. Where she and her mother where the only white people there and her home is dark and falling apart. She was so scared and didn’t want to be there again. Which unfortunately ended their friendship.
In a perfect world I would love to believe that people can over come this social difference. But the truth of the matter is there is such a cultural difference between class’s. Such as, much of the upper class enjoy things like operas, fancy restaurants and expensive things cause they can afford it. But then you have the lower class that can’t afford the same pleasures. So they have to find other non expensive things to do. Which can really put a gap in friendships because you are doing different things, hangout with different people that share the same things. When you take the two girls in the reading they enjoyed do the same things together but there home life was so different. Andrea was so scared she ended their friendship probable in fear that she might have to go back to her home again.
Privilege is often invisible by you don’t know how privilege somebody is by talking to them. Being privileged and having the necessity to live be two different things. Somebody who is privileged drives a BMW, where a less privileged person would drive an Elantra. Privileged or less privileged comes from where and how you are raised, if you were raised in higher class or a lower class.
Blacks, Hispanic, and lower class are more likely to be aware of privilege. Unlike the higher class, lower class knows what it is like to struggle for things that they need.
Andrea felt uncomfortable in Jewel’s Newark house because she was not use to the way Jewel’s family lived. Andrea grew up in a different way that Jewel did. She had things that other families like Jewel’s family didn’t have. Andrea was more uncomfortable because she didn’t understand that not everyone is as privileged as she is.
I think that people can overcome social differences if they choose to. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t care how much someone has then, I think you can overcome social differences. On the other hand if you do care what somebody drives, what class they are or how much money they have then I think you will never be able to overcome any social differences.
Privilege is often invisible because it was set into motion long before the day we were born. Your race and sex are predetermined before you breathe your first breath, and you will be brought up in the class from which your family belongs. These quotients are out of a person’s control and are often overlooked as most people are the center of their very own universe.
No “category” of people are more or less likely to be aware of privilege. Some would argue that the lower class is more aware in that they see all the things that the upper class has and they do not. The upper class could then argue that they pay higher taxes and support the lower class and that wealth and opportunity is then shared. People of different races may say they were or were not afforded opportunities because of their race. Take the long standing argument about affirmative action into consideration. And similarly, people of different sexes or even sexual preferences could have the same awareness of opportunities given and passed by them based upon privilege. In any given situation, no one is right or wrong, and no one category of people are more or less likely to be aware of privilege.
Andrea was uncomfortable in Jewel’s Newark home for several reasons. She was eight years old and not yet socially advanced to be able to manage this change in environment and culture. She was not able to process the humor that Jewel’s family was sharing with her. Andrea had great difficulty utilizing the water room in the basement as a bathroom. She was suffering from social difference stimuli overload. These social differences certainly can be overcome. I think that these differences are important for people to understand, especially children. These differences ultimately promote tolerance and understanding and a more well-rounded knowledge base. Had these children lived closer to eachother, remained at the same school, or been older when the separation took place, it would have been easier to build a long and withstanding friendship regardless of social differences.
I can identify some elements of privilege in my own life. I have been afforded certain opportunities, job and otherwise through the social ties I have maintained over the years. Most of my professional growth is due to the privilege allowed to me because of who I was friends with, who I had worked for, or who my family was. This is not to say I do not deserve to be where I am today, just that it would have taken me much longer to get there without a little help from my friends. At times, these privleges have caused problems. There are many people who will never believe that you work hard or deserve your position. At times age plays a role as some people do not like to take constructive criticism from a younger person in a management role. These strains subside as staff get to know you and see that you really are the stellar performer everyone said you were. It seems that everyone is afforded or affected by privilege, just not everyone is aware of it.
1. Privilege is a hard concept for many people to grasp. This is because they were born into well-to-do families and never had to come to terms with it. Or perhaps they labored hard for their success but eventually forgot how far they had come. Without a doubt, the most privileged type of people are caucasians, specifically white males. Throughout history they have cemented themselves as the dominant group, both in the gender and race arenas. They are not exclusive to this group; also included would be anyone born into riches or given many opportunities to succeed over others. They can often go their whole life without ever realizing the tremendous edge they have over everyone else.
Privilege is always recognized,envied, desired, and hated most by those who have the misfortune of not having experienced it as richly as others. Whether they be Black, female, gay it is inevitable that they will be less privileged in some way from the so called “more acceptable” people. These are the people who can appreciate seeing their hard work pay off and watching their privileges rise with that success. They know what it’s like to be deprived of that status and they have an honest desire to acchieve the same as those they see who enjoy it, though most likely in complete and total oblivion.
2. Andrea seemed to be uncomfortable in Jewel’s house for several reasons. She was apparently overwhelmed by the interactions between Jewel’s family members. Though not in another country, Andrea was experiencing minor culture shock because she had never witnessed people talking to each other in that manner in her own culture. She expected conversation to follow a pattern she was used to and became uncomfortable when it didn’t match her expectations. Andrea was also distressed by how dark the house was because her privileged life she was unfamiliar with having to be conscious about saving electricity. She was shocked by the second toilet in Jewel’s basement, which she had to use in the dark. She was so used to her standard of living that she couldn’t get past the differences in her friend’s house and just have a good time.
I believe that people can overcome these social differences. Though the differences might be shocking and hard to deal with at first, it’s important to remember that we are all people no matter what color or class we are from. I feel like Andrea should have focused more on being Jewel’s friend and catching up on lost time than being concerned and even frightened by the new environment. Paula S. Rosenberg blamed three hundred years of race, class and various other differences as the reason why her daughter couldn’t maintain a friendship with Jewel but it was really more simple than that. Two eight year old girls don’t care about those issues as much as adults do. Andrea simply couldn’t look past her friend’s lack of privilege.
3. I have become more aware of my privileged life the older I get and the more people I encounter. I have my own place to live, a car to drive, two jobs and I go to school. I’m a white male which automatically gets me further than other people could attain in certain situations. I’ve been made very aware of these points especially since my girlfriend is African American. I had never grown up with racism directed toward me. I had never been openly judged because of my skin color. As my relationship has progressed with my girlfriend I’ve had many multicultural experiences where I have experienced a life style that is far different than mine. Though other people may have less privilege than that of myself, I have never let that affect my view of that person. I’m aware of my so called “edge” over other people but I try my best not to let it get in the way of being their friend.
The article by Paula S. Rothenberg poses the questions of “why is priviledge often invisible” and “what categories of people are more or less likely to be aware of it?” The story centers around a white mother (Paula) and her daughter (Andrea) and a black mother (Carol) and her daughter (Jewel). The two little girls had been friends since kindergarten and it wasn’t discovered until the girls were mid-way through third grade that Jewel’s mother had falsified her address to get Jewel into a good school. Carol did this for three reasons. First of all she, like most parents, wanted her child to
have a quality education and, second and lastly, she was black and poor. So, the issues seem to hinge mainly on the disparity of class, race and economics, at first glance. The point Ms. Rothenberg is
trying to make is that, if we look deeper, we see a system that is set up to keep this division in place and make it more difficult for non-whites to improve their status in society. Blacks and hispanics,
according to the article, work just as hard if not harder than whites yet make 45% less per anum. Non-whites have a harder time finding better jobs or affording better housing, schools or medical care.
This condition has been going on for so long that it has become the “norm” in our society. Even today, whites (the dominant culture) have easier and better access to higher paying jobs, better schools and more affordable housing, and we (whites) take all this for
granted. Those who struggle against this well established form of oppression have been aware of this predjudice for generations.
The first and only time Andrea went to Jewels house, she experienced a
type of “culture shock” that left her not only uncomfortable, but also unable to relate or interact in any way she was familiar with. To Andrea, the environment, customs, mannerisms and ways of
communicating were completely alien. Sadly, their friendship ended that day. If Andrea had continued to see her friend Jewel, she would have become familiar with those customs and mannerisms and gained a whole new understanding of Jewel’s culture.
Invisible Priviledge is not a new concept. Whether you view the word priviledge
as a special advantage, permission, right or benefit, it has always been a part of our society. Everything in our world has a hierarchy. Everything has a polarity. It is our nature to catagorize things and put them in some sort of order. The prevailing culture, and the subcultures within that society will assign values to those catagories and treat them accordingly.
Privilege is often invisible because we don’t realize we have it until we see those who are not as lucky to have it. I don’t know if there is one category of people who have privilege, most other races think it is the whites who have the privilege life but are there not other counties were blacks and Hispanics would have a privilege life? In all areas of culture there are those who are privileged no matter the color of their skin or whether their woman or a man. Privilege is something that is earned or you are born into it.
Andrea was probably very uncomfortable with the surroundings because this was all new to her. This was the first time she was out of her element of comfort. Not only were there a lot of new faces but they were also a different race and there cultural back ground was different, so as the article says she probably heard things that she had never heard before. Plus it sounds as though the place was run down and not very user friendly which may have waded in on her being uncomfortable. I believe Andrea could overcome her fears and discomfort if she were to spend more time with Jewels family and get to learn their culture and attitudes.
In my own life I’m not sure what elements of privilege I have, I live in a nice house, have a good job, have a loving and caring wife and have three great children. I don’t believe that these are privileges; these are things that I worked hard to get and to maintain. Has this affected my relationships with others; I don’t believe it has because anyone who knows me knows I have worked hard to get what I posses.
Privilege is often invisible because you cant always see if someone is living well or not, like if someone was driving a two thousand eleven mustang GT around you would know that, that person is privileged. If you just saw someone in a supermarket shopping you most likely wouldn’t know if there privileged or not by looking at someone. Black, and Hispanic people or lower class people are more likely to be aware of privilege because there the ones that are generally effected by it. Andréa was so uncomfortable in jewels house because she was not use to the conditions they were living in such as the darkness of the apartment or the conditions of there bathroom. This frightened her because she grew up differently and this is simply an effect of race, gender, and class. It is difficult to over come such social differences but a lot of it truly in my opinion depends on what type of person you are inside, and if you can be understanding and accepting tp surroundings your not adjusted to. Funding for schools can be seen as an invisible privilege because in most towns the selection of students is based on there taxes and whether or not they live on the town of the school. People with more money generally get first choice in everything.
Privilege is often invisible, in my thoughts, because in everyday society privilege is not usually discussed. It is not “normal” to sit around the dinner table and discuss whether it is a privilege to have the ability to go out and buy a new coach purse or to have electricity to run lights and keep food fresh in the refigerator. Many people do not look at that as being a privilege. Many people look to having electricity as something that is a nessecity, or common to have, although there are many people that do not have the privilege to have electricity in the United States.
I believe that the people of society who are most likely to be aware of privilege are those of a lower class. The middle to upper class are accustomed to having what they need; rather than being aware of what they need and worring about how to get just that.
I would describe Andreas being uncomfortable in Jewel’s home as being a culture shock. Paula S. Rothenburg, author of “Invisible Privilege”, used Jewel’s “second” bathroom as a comparison to Andrea’s bathroom. Andrea had a second bathroom that would be consider normal. On the other side Rothernburg described Jewel’s bathroon as being almost unfit to be used. Andrea was used to her “Middle-Class” norms where for Jewel’s norm for “Middle-Class” are or were set differently.
In a perfect world I would hope that people would be able to overcome social difference such as the ones decribed in this reading. But in reality I do think that it is not going to happen anytime soon. Our world is not a perfect world. Although there have been many changes throughout the years, there are still many that are need. Inequality is unfair and we as people of society each have to do our part in changing the way we think and act.
Funding for schools could be an “invisible privilege” by where the money comes from and where the money goes. If a school has funding from a person or a personal organization, that funding in return goes to school of that persons choice. If it may be a school for children from a place where being “Upper-class” is norm, then the schools in surrounding areas that are not upper-class have the disadvantage. I think that it would be more like of a person to donate funding to a place where they grew up and attended schools.
I personally live in a small toen and our school system is not very large. This year they had to lay off a kindergarten teacher due to the fact that there were not enough students enrolled to fill the two class rooms. Due to this, the school informed us parents that they would not be accepting request for school choice from students and parents from other districts. Do I think this is fair? Yes. The students that live in the community or town should have first choice in the towns school system.