Defining, Unpacking, and Contextualizing Class Privilege to Extend the Intersectional Scope of Privilege Studies
Keywords:class privilege, poverty, inequality, neoliberalism
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.
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