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Eureka: What is "social privilege?"
by Joseph Gatt
2018-09-25 08:16:53
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Or any kind of privilege? You have “white” privilege, “handsome” privilege, “elite school” privilege, “elite passport” privilege, “son or daughter of the elites” privilege and so on. So here are the patterns.

-People with privilege don't need qualifications to get jobs and make money. They get parachuted to professional positions that they are not qualified for.

privil0001-On the job, not much is expected of them. Clients come merely because of their presence. They either sit at a desk, or spend the entire day engaging in leisure activities when they technically have responsibilities on the job. They tend to use minimal interaction with staff and clients, yet are very much respected by staff or clients.

-In society, people who are said to be of privileged background tend to make no effort to adjust. If they are in a foreign country they make no effort to learn the local language, if they are at the job they believe office rules don't apply to them, social rules and norms of etiquette don't apply to them.

-In many cases, people with privilege tend not to have social capital either. While some have a network of powerful people, many don't have that many phone numbers in their address book. But people tend to approach them because of their privileged background, and if they decide to make the effort, they can gradually build a powerful address book.

-People with privilege tend to complain about the backwardness of their surroundings. “Normal” people or “local” people don't know how to eat properly, speak funny, act funny, and are like frogs in a well or worms in horseradish. “Normal” people have not seen the other side of the world and are clueless, and are the frequent target of jokes.

-When on the job, people with privilege tend to work very little. They value their free time and their parties, social events, shopping and other activities.

A few examples of social privilege

-Some North American, European and or East Asian companies believe that their mere presence in foreign countries, especially developing countries, is a source of large income with little or no effort. They settle in foreign countries, delegate all tasks to locals, watch locals do the work and keep the cash. People who work for such companies tend to make little effort to learn local languages, believe local social and cultural norms don't apply to them, and put great emphasis on leisure activities.

-Some CEOs or high ranking staff at companies believes that they should delegate all work and watch people at work while they engage in leisure activities or other pleasurable activities. They don't take time to get to know company staff, believe company rules and social rules don't apply to them.

-Some tourists treat locals like their servants. They believe they can get their way through speaking exclusively in English, complain about the quality of the food and service, try to negotiate prices even when not appropriate, and believe local cultural and social norms don't apply to them. One example would be Western visitors of Middle Eastern countries who don't dress appropriately or engage in inappropriate physical contact. Another example is that of Middle Eastern visitors of Western countries who demand Halal food at every restaurant they visit and complain about the speed and quality of service, and refuse to tip.

-Expat English and French teachers around the world. While some of them are volunteers, some countries such as Japan, Korea, Vietnam, China and some South American countries pay generous salaries to expat teachers. Some expat teachers make no efforts to adjust to the local culture, teach English or French like they would teach it to native speakers, make no efforts to learn the local language, and in a lot of cases don't even have credentials, qualifications or teaching experience. And many of them behave like tourists when their schools expect them to be professionals.

-In some countries, high-ranking political and business officials are chosen not based on their political or business savvy or passion, but based on the school they attended. Such politicians and businessmen tend to believe that school you attended is everything, believe that business or political rules don't apply to them, and discourage people from disagreeing with them, especially people who went to “lower ranking schools.”

-In some countries being from the right family gives you privileged access to the job market or society. People from wealthy families believe social norms don't apply to them, believe they can slack around on the job, and often get jobs for little reason other than their family background and work when they wish, spending the rest of the time either sitting on the desk or engaging in leisure activities.

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