Do Social Privilege Gives You a Sense of Entitlement? 

Societyby sagnika sinha15 April 2024

Social Privilege Gives You A Sense Of Entitlement

Do you know what social privilege is? Let me define social privilege for you! It is an unearned advantage, benefit, or access to services by individuals’ people because they belong to a certain social group! Is there any reason social privilege becomes an oppressive act in society?

I am here to talk about how social privilege creates situations where people are oppressed because of their ethnicity, race, class, looks, profession, and others. Individuals who are persecuted because of their race, ethnicity, skin color, and other cultural aspects are identified as marginalized groups.

Individuals receive psychological, political, economic, and social advantages without any effort. These individuals are called privileged groups because they feel entitled to some practices even when others are facing severe detriments. Let me share with you what I think about acknowledging social privilege!

Do Social Privilege Gives You A Sense of Entitlement?

Privilege is an act or approach to social identities based on gender, religion, socioeconomic status, race, sexuality, educational level, and age. Now, the question is how you define social privilege regarding intersectionality and resources.

Let me draw you an example; you will probably have a better idea of what I am trying to share. For example, you are on a trip with your family, but most of you do not know how to drive, so you get a driver with you.

This driver is your family driver—he drives your children to school or takes your mother to the salon! You trust him completely; hence, you consider him a family member. When you take a lunch break on that trip, you enter a restaurant with your family.

When the restaurant manager requests that you ask your driver to have lunch at the allotted place for helpers, drivers, and other service people, what will you do? Will you ask your driver to join the other helpers and drivers for lunch, or would you inform the manager that he is also a family member?

Or are you also someone who would feel awkward if your driver joined you for lunch or dinner? If so, you feel they are entitled! Who are you to think the drivers and the helpers do not deserve to sit at the same table as you?

Let me talk about social privilege definition. Why do you think you deserve that respect? What have you done to know the status differences? Keep reading to learn about the accessibility of services along with creating awareness.

Types of Privilege

I am going to describe three main types of privilege for you to understand and relate to! The first type of privilege is able-body privilege, which allows you to visit new places without worrying about accessibility. If you are a non-disabled individual, you can go anywhere without worrying about restrictions.

White privilege is the second type of privilege where you are considered beautiful just because of your skin tone. It can easily find products that match your skin tone because it is regarded as the basic feature of the conventional beauty standards.

When you read about the type of privilege, the third type is a religious privilege! For example, if there is a religious holiday announced, often educational institutions or workspaces might suffer. After reading all the types of privilege, you will realize how social interactions are integral to biases and oppression.

Levels of Privilege

There are three levels of privilege based on diversity in social identities: gender, socioeconomic status, sexuality, race, ability status, age, religion, and education. Several factors contribute to overall growth and development, such as accessing interests and creating advantages, benefits, and favors!

Personal privilege is about individual experiences where you receive privilege because of certain features or characteristics! For a single person, privilege can include not attending a meeting because you have an urgent matter.

Interpersonal privilege discusses interactions with others, which is mainly based on privilege. For example, someone is treated nicely because they belong to a certain ethnicity, mostly if they have white skin. This also, in a sense, creates a sense of entitlement, leading to discrimination!

Institutional privilege is the systematic advantage individuals receive as part of a privileged group. For a group of people, the decision is taken without asking their permission! The official authority and ability to decide on a group of people is a privilege only some have.

Impact of Privilege

Over the years, one of the major impacts of privilege on the global scale is the forming of privileged groups. Historically, these groups have become powerful, thus holding on to power and dominating people globally.

The power is mostly used on marginalized groups, mostly because of how intersectionality and social privilege have cornered them. The mere reason why groups have turned marginalized is because of the oppression that individuals with privilege practice on people who do not conform to the social beauty standards.

People receive privilege because there are two types of people: privileged and marginalized! One of the major reasons individuals are often taken advantage of is that there is a clear practice of discrimination that is further supported by the thoughts of privileged practices. Therefore, it is a privilege that gives birth to marginalized groups!

Acknowledging Privilege

So, how do you become aware of social privilege or acknowledge that you receive such treatment? Acknowledging is the first step towards confronting discrimination! You can use it to bring positive attention to minority groups receiving partial treatment and biases.

So, how do you leverage privilege? Have you ever taken a step towards spreading awareness? It would be best if you had brave conversations with others to spread awareness regarding privilege and advocate for these privileges. We must not remain bystanders when we see practices of discrimination!

When social privilege practices turn into discrimination, we must intervene and raise our voices against them. I would not entertain the idea of being a bystander! Rather, you should assess your culture and value diversity.

You must also adapt to diversity by accepting equal treatment and institutionalized cultural knowledge! It is your approach towards creating management of institutions to regular cultural understanding and balancing expectations, norms, and cultural values through spreading awareness about privileged practices.

Intersectionality and Privilege

When discussing intersectionality, let me explain it in detail! Any form of discrimination based on sexism, classism, and racism that overlaps or intersects with the experiences of marginalized groups and individuals is known as an intersection. Professor Kimberle Crenshaw first used the term “intersectionality” in 1989!

She was explaining the oppression of African American Women as a marginalized group when she used this term to define them. So, how does privilege influence people regarding receiving favors, advantages, or benefits? It is basically like immunity, which is granted to individuals without giving any effort!

Based on diverse identities, you realize that society judges people based on ethnicity or race. Many individuals receive privilege because of certain characteristics, such as white skin, thinness, tallness, and others! An individual’s orientation is the reason why society practices bias.

Resources for Understanding Privilege

Some books discuss privilege in depth, not just social but all kinds. These books help you better understand privilege and decide how to spread awareness.

Books such as “Deconstructing Privilege” by Kim Case and “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo are two books you can buy to better understand social privilege! On social media platforms, there are several articles and videos on intersectionality, allyship, privilege, and discrimination.

They offer several valuable perspectives that can help you. If you are facing problems in understanding social privilege, you can consider these perspectives, which will help you in the long run.

Reflecting and Taking Action

For all of us, discussing our social identities is an integral part of our self-awareness. Why is it important to understand social identities? You learn about the areas where you are privileged, which contributes to your insight development and understanding of how you react to these privileges.

The first step is raising awareness among family and friends! Therefore, we need to start a conversation with our friends and family about the different social privileges we receive. Furthermore, allyship is another strategy where you can share what you learn from engaging in talks about social privilege.

You get to learn and decide on how you receive privilege! This also encourages you to reach out to marginalized groups and support them in any way you can.

Finishing Off…

To sum up my view on social privilege, it is expected of us as a society when we talk about acting; it must be related to spreading awareness. Talking about social privilege and how it supports discrimination is a significant step towards understanding it.

Have you ever felt truly uncomfortable when it comes to having brave conversations regarding receiving social privilege? Where, deep down, do we enjoy the treatment and try to avoid accepting that we are utilizing it?

Comment on any experience you might have gone through which can be categorized as a social privilege.

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sagnika sinha

Sagnika Sinha is a content writer who is passionate about writing travel vlogs, entertainment and celebrity articles and literature-based pieces. With a 4 years experience in teaching, she loves reading books. A procrastinator by nature, she loves travelling, listening to music, planting and gardening.

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