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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)

Key Terms

Privilege refers to certain social advantages, benefits, or degrees of prestige and respect that an individual has by virtue of belonging to certain social identity groups. Within American and other Western societies, these privileged social identities—of people who have historically occupied positions of dominance over others—include whites, males, heterosexuals, Christians, and the wealthy, among others.

White Privilege is the concept that highlights the unfair societal advantages that white people have over non-white people. It is something that is pervasive throughout society and exists in all of the major systems and institutions that operate in society, as well as on an interpersonal level. The phrase "white privilege" was first coined by activist and scholar Peggy McIntosh in 1988 in her paper "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack."

FromGarcía, Justin D. 2018. “Privilege (Social Inequality).” Salem Press Encyclopedia.

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