SOCIAL IDENTITY AND PRIVILEGE
Modern society is composed of individuals who originate from different races, religions and even geographical regions. In addition, these individuals uphold cultural and social practices which vary vividly from each other. For instance, the united state of America is composed of individuals who can be linked to be a white American, black American, Native American, Hispanic or even a Latino. Though they might have integrated together to have a common language of communication, their physiological features remains a distinct element of identification. For example, a black American can be easily identified from a white American through use of the skin color. These social identities have created a number of privileges to some community members from a certain race either with or without their knowledge (Barry & Sidel, 2009).
According to Peggy McIntosh Invisible knapsack, members from a certain race or gender have got some advantages over others due to their race or their gender. These advantages or privileges are termed by Peggy as invisible knapsack. For example, a new born baby boy accrues immediate benefits associated with being a male in the current society as compared to a baby girl. This baby boy may not be aware of these privileges associated with being a male child even though they exist at an advantage of that child. Even though the baby boy may grow while upholding great respect for the ladies, these invisible privileges may still act as oppressors for the girl child. According to Peggy McIntosh, men should shed off some of their privileges granted to them by the society in order to create a way of gender equality with no gender injustices (McIntosh, 1989).
Social injustices may occur or take place in different forms thus creating a kind of an imbalance in the modern society. Though the modern society may be in the front line to reduce the level of social injustices, some incidences needs to be addressed also. For example, though the modern society has embraced both administrative and judiciary means to eliminate elements of racism within the American society, it has created to path of creating equality among the members in term of invisible privileges. For example, a black American child is more likely to be bullied most of the American schools as compared to a white American child. Though these children may not be bullied in the school they attend to, a white American child has that invisible privilege of security. Such invisible privileges and perquisites have been in existence in some races for a long period of time but go unnoticed.
Social injustices can be created by both visible and invisible elements which are upheld by the modern society. Visible social injustice may be portrayed by an individual where he or she utilizes intentionally his or her race, religion or gender orientation in order to oppress or gain at an expense of another person who is not of his or her orientation. On the other hand, some oppressive perquisites exist without the knowledge of the person and they pose a great challenge to the modern society while tackling the elements of social injustices in the modern society (Kivel, 2011).
Race, gender, religion, age and cultural practices pose the major lines unto which modern social injustices are aligned. Even though the modern society is ready and willing to tackle the existing elements of social injustices, it must create a kind of balance between the oppressor and the oppressed. This is through the invisible privileges associated with the oppressor. For instance, a white American may be presumed to be more intelligent and with a high IQ as compared to a black American. Through vigorous seminars and workshop to educate citizens on the need of cohesion and equal treatment as well as creating rooms to incorporate other society members, elements of social injustices can be addressed appropriately.
Barry S. L & Sidel, V.W. (2009). Social Injustice and Public Health, Oxford , Oxford University Press.
Kivel, P. (2011). Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice - 3rd edition, Washington DC: New Society Publishers.
McIntosh, P. (1989). White privileges: unpacking the invisible knapsack, Princeton: Princeton University Press.