Essay on The Concept Of Systems Of Privilege

890 Words Oct 19th, 2016 4 Pages
The concept of “Systems of Privilege” refers to the idea that we live in a world where certain people receive more benefits than others due to socially constructed ideologies. Shaw and Lee define privilege as “advantages that people have by virtue of their status or position in society” (p. 54). According to Shaw and Lee, systems of privilege are accompanied by what one of my psychology professors referred to as “-isms.” In psychology, these are referred to as implicit stereotypes; Shaw and Lee challenge student readers to take an IAT, an implicit association test designed to measure our unconscious “-isms.” Systems of privilege would not exist without our unconscious, implicit stereotypes tied to our psychological functioning. One of the systems that facilitates privilege among people is sexism based upon gender (Shaw & Lee, p. 54). Although sexism is commonly associated with negative attitudes towards women, Shaw and Lee expand this to the idea that gender conformity is what entails privilege (p. 54). In this manner, those that do not conform to the stereotypical gender roles are the people that live in absence of this sort of privilege. Systems of privilege are also encompassed with racism based upon ethnic or racial group membership; classism based upon socioeconomic status; looksism/sizeism based upon body image and size; ageism related to age; and ableism associated with physical and mental abilities (Shaw & Lee, p. 54).
All of these implicit stereotypes are simply…

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