Chapter 6 Questions

  1. The authors argue that privilege is not the product of luck, happenstance, or natural occurrence. If it is not these things, then what is it?

Privilege is the product being in the majority or even richer and more powerful than the majority. If your parents have enough money to send you to university without you having to work, the chances of you receiving greater marks increase. If you are a white male interviewing for a job, the likelihood of your success is higher than a woman of colour. Although you did work hard to go to school and have jobs, those opportunities came more easily to you.

2. What are the “external and structural” dimensions of ableism? Identify some specific examples beyond those that the authors provide. What are the “internal and attitudinal” dimensions of ableism? Identify some specific examples.

The external and structural dimensions of ableism include those that lawmakers decide, such as tapered sidewalks and schools segregated by ability level. An example of this ableism would include a lack of funding for educational assistants by our Saskatchewan government. Internal and attitudinal dimensions of ableism would include our “feel good” moments such as Alexandre Biledou’s brother and those who volunteer with special olympics making their volunteer work about themselves rather than the people they are volunteering for.

3. Identify the external/structural and internal/attitudinal dimensions of another form of oppression (such as sexism, heterosexism, classism, or racism).

I see a lot of oppression in classism in Saskatchewan, specifically in Regina. Growing up, every child was afforded a band instrument in grade 5 until grade 8 at which point we could choose to rent or buy our own. I was shocked to hear that parents of elementary aged children in Regina are made to rent their children’s instruments, potentially leaving out a group of children whose caregivers could not afford this. I see this as an external and structural form of classism. As an internal or attitudinal form of classism, I hear people talking about the best and worst places to live in the city almost solely based on the income levels of the neighbourhoods. As a result, people do not want to send their children to schools they have deemed as “less than” others. An example of this would being students going to Thom or Sheldon rather than Campbell, LeBoldus or Luther College.

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