Paying Attention to Privilege, Race, and Being an Outsider

In order to write this paper, students will need to do at least two things: put themselves in a new situation in which they are an outsider. This may involve going to a church/religious service that people "like you" don't normally attend, a festival or social event largely attended by people "unlike you." You will also need to keep a daily journal for three weeks, in which you write down incidents in which you were aware of race, being an outsider, and white skin privilege. In a paper of about eight pages, (use your judgment as to length and format for responding to these questions), discuss the following:

  • What were your feelings/emotions as you put yourself in the new situation? How was that similar to and different than other times when you have been in the minority, or only one of a few people like you in a situation?
  • In those three weeks, how often and in what kinds of situations did race appear in your daily life? Reflect on how your own group membership, race, and other factors influenced the ways race was apparent.
  • In those three weeks, what were the common themes about race that appeared during these weeks? Discuss the meanings of these themes.
  • In those three weeks, what were the aspects of white privilege that you observed or experienced. In your opinion, what were reasons why these occurred in those situations?
  • Were there other kinds of privilege other than white privilege that you observed? If so, discuss these.
  • What did you learn about society/race/minority status, etc. as a result of doing this paper?
  • What did you learn about yourself as a result of doing this paper?

The paper will be graded on thoroughness in answering the questions, analysis of issues experienced and observed, and clarity of the paper (well organized, well written). Please turn in your journal as well as the paper.