On the complicating effects of power in our society, Malcom Gladwell observes that, "shifts in power change the way we remember the past. That we often embody a reluctance to not acknowledge the role of power. The way we pretend that we can make sense of the world without first clarifying who has power and who has not."(Revisionist History Podcast, 2017).
Further, Johnson (2006) asserts that the existence of privilege doesn't mean I didn't do a good job or that I don't deserve credit for it. What it does mean is that I'm also getting something that other people are denied, people who are like me in every respect except for the social categories they belong to. In this sense, my access to privilege doesn't determine my outcomes, but it is definitely as asset that makes it more likely that whatever talent, ability, and aspirations I have will result in something good for me (pp. 21 - 22). To help us further understand the what privilege looks like in everyday life, Johnson provides multiple lists of privileges based on particular identities.
For this assignment, you will:
Take a look at the list of privileges developed by Johnson. Then you will choose two of the list and do the following for each list you select.
- As you reflect on your personal and professional experiences, note the things that resonated for you.
+ = Agree, - = Disagree, <-> = Confused or Unsure, and ! = Strong Reaction
- What privileges on the lists you chose do you take for granted?
- What insights did you have as you read the lists?
- What things surprised you?
- How might this relate to teaching and learning?