Defining, Unpacking, and Contextualizing Class Privilege to Extend the Intersectional Scope of Privilege Studies

  • Michael Bratton Wilfrid Laurier University
Keywords: class privilege, poverty, inequality, neoliberalism

Abstract

This paper seeks to add to the repository of knowledge about unearned advantage by defining, delineating, and contextualizing class privilege. After reviewing McIntosh's (1988) seminal work on white privilege and male privilege, this work seeks to answer contemporary calls (McIntosh, 2012/2015) to extend the scope of privilege analyses into additional domains. A working definition of class privilege is developed by reviewing insights on how class was defined in classic social theory and adding the appendage privilege. The proceeding delineation of class privilege incorporates existing qualitative literature on impoverishment to amplify the voices of subaltern people who live without it. Finally, class privilege is contextualized by analyzing the key features of contemporary finance capitalism. This contextualizing is necessary in a world where an already wide and systemically created gap between rich and poor is further widening. 

Author Biography

Michael Bratton, Wilfrid Laurier University

Michael Bratton, MSW, RSW, PhD is contract faculty in the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University and on the Board of Directors for the Social Planning Council of Oxford (SPCO). The SPCO has the mission statement of "illuminat[ing] the realities of poverty and marginalization to shift understanding and inspire collaborative action for positive change." This mission statement is congruent with Michael's personal and professional mission statements and was the analytical and affective rationales for authoring this publication.

Published
2021-11-25
How to Cite
Bratton, M. (2021). Defining, Unpacking, and Contextualizing Class Privilege to Extend the Intersectional Scope of Privilege Studies. Understanding and Dismantling Privilege, 11(2), 46-83. Retrieved from https://www.wpcjournal.com/article/view/21070