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06 April 2012

Comparative Advantage vs. Absolute Privilege

I have written a few times before on teaching about privilege (here, here, and here). I'm not so sure I was entirely correct in my initial assessment in which I argued that it might be more productive to teach privileged students that they are comparatively advantaged vis-a-vis their disadvantaged counterparts rather than teaching them that they are absolutely privileged. The distinction may seem pedantic, but there are important implications in the different approaches. (I've written here about counterproductive approaches when attempting to change privileged perspectives.) Essentially, disadvantaged students live with their lower status every day and don't need to be convinced about privilege. Part of privilege, though, is that those with it are privileged to not notice it. Herein lies the problem. More on this later.

UPDATE (5/16/2012): Here is a new take on teaching white privilege using video games as a metaphor.

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