ERAU White Privilege and Unconscious Bias Essay

In 1988, feminist scholar Peggy McIntosh published a controversial essay, White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences through Work on Women’s Studies. A shortened version, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, was published in 1989. In these articles, McIntosh outlines her understanding of the concept of privilege in her life in the 1970s and 1980s.

Read the article here: White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh

Implicit Bias refers to beliefs, stereotypes, attitudes, and prejudices that are unconscious, but still influence our thinking and behavior. It is currently a controversial topic in the social dialogue.

View the following YouTube videos to see two opposing views on unconscious bias:

We All Have Implicit Biases. So What Can We Do About It? – Dushaw Hockett (12:00)

Ben Shapiro, the speaker in the second video is a conservative American political commentator. His manner of speaking is often aggressive and confrontational, and his views are considered by some to be offensive. The purpose of presenting various perspectives from all ends of the spectrum on controversial issues is to provide you, as educated citizens, with a comprehensive understanding of the breadth of social-political dialogue that exists on a topic and that has the capacity to influence the thinking of the populous. While you may disagree, and disagree strongly, with certain views that are expressed on any topic, it is important that you understand what views are being discussed and potentially contributing to the crafting of social policy.

Thoughtfully reflect on the issues discussed in the article and discussion, address the following points:

  1. What was your initial reaction to McIntosh’s list?
  2. Do you think this is an accurate reflection of privilege in society during the 1970s and 1980s? Do you think it is relevant and accurate today? Why or why not?
  3. What was your reaction to the videos? What did you agree with? What did you disagree with?
  4. Do you think that implicit bias exists as a motivator of thought and behavior?
  5. Do you consider racism, sexism, and discrimination based on ethnicity or religion to be primarily individual-based or systemic? Explain your answer.

Title: Ethics: Theory and Contemporary Issues

ISBN: 978-1305958678

Authors: Mackinnon, Barbara and Fiala, Andrew

Publisher: Cengage Learning

Publication Date: 2018

Edition: 9th

Format: Textbook

Read the following chapters from your textbook Ethics and Contemporary Issues, 9th Edition

  • Chapter 2 – Religion and Global Ethics: This chapter introduces the complex issues related to our increasingly integrated global world, including the benefits and challenges of diversity. It focuses on the ethics and philosophy that form the foundation of religious doctrine and universal human rights.
  • Chapter 13 – Equality and Discrimination: This chapter examines discrimination and racism as it manifests in contemporary societies, from a philosophical and practical perspective.

Plato was one of the earliest, and arguably one of the greatest philosophers. Together with his teacher, Socrates, and his famous student, Aristotle, Plato contributed to the very foundation of Western philosophy.

View the following videos summarizing some of Plato’s fundamental teachings:

Philosophy – Plato (YouTube, 6:29) (Links to an external site.)

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