White Structural Privilege


White Structural Privilege: How Was It Constructed and How Does It Remain Largely Invisible?

White privilege in our nation is a highly controversial and heated topic. Most folks from the
dominant group interpret “white privilege” as a personal affront and fail to understand this is a
structural dilemma (it is built into the major institutions in our society; hence, it perpetuates
institutional discrimination/racism). The task within essay exam one is two-fold. The first task
is to explain how “white privilege” became embedded into our major institutions? To examine
this historical social and economic dynamic the Katznelson book “When Affirmative Action was
White” must be utilized. The second task is to utilize the Lipsitz article and the Wise
documentary to examine what privileges were produced during the New Deal era for the
dominant group and how these privileges remain largely invisible to the dominant group. The
essay must be written from a sociological perspective and utilize all the required sources listed below.
Important Note: This essay must be framed from one of the theoretical perspectives from class.
Hence, the student must select from Conflict Theory, Functionalism, or Symbolic Interactionism.
Once a theory is selected it is vitally important to use “terms” or “sub-theories” from that theory.
If you select Conflict Theory (Marx/Du Bois) or Functionalism (Durkheim, Parsons, Merton)
you must provide “four terms” within the essay. If you select Symbolic Interactionism you
must provide “three sub-theories” (Mead, Cooley, Goffman, Labeling Theory, selective
perception, etc.) within the essay.
The essay should be a minimum of 3 pages, but no longer than 4 pages. The essay should
follow proper ASA formatting, which includes a cover page, in-text citations, and a reference
page (no abstract is required). Additionally, be sure to include a clear thesis statement near the
end of the introduction paragraph that is precise and powerful……(This essay will utilize
Conflict Theory to sociologically examine……)
These are the course sources that must be cited in the essay:
Lipsitz Article (Two citations) (Lipsitz Year:page#)
White Like Me by Tim Wise (Three citations) (Wise time)
When Affirmative Action was White by Katznelson (a total of four citations) (Katznelson
Special Note: No outside sources are required.