The Characteristics Of The Elite In Privilege, By Shamus Khan

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When we think of the word elite, we immediately attribute it to better. The statement, “The Navy SEALs are an elite fighting force,” implies a level of special of them that gives them social power. Author Shamus Khan describes the elite as a sort of club in his novel, Privilege. This club consisted of almost entirely white males of wealthy descent who for a long time, through schools such as his alma mater, were able to maintain a hold over the power by passing it from generation to generation (Khan 23). Khan also argues that the historically wealthy families (the elite) are able to best take advantage of their wealth and familial prestige to better adapt to the society around them (Khan 199). Whilst Khan is quite correct in the assessment…show more content…
Khan has this idea that there is something inherently better about the elite, but he fails to recognize that the elite have stayed in power for so long primarily because they have been able to shape societal rules to best benefit themselves, and as the push for social equality strengthens, the idea of the elite class will shift towards a more merit based system. What makes someone elite in a specific field is actually their contributions to the field and how they use them to benefit society, rather than manipulate it. In some way, shape, or form, privilege affects everyone. Minor variations in genetic traits can lead to vastly different traits from person to person, and in our society these traits can either be an advantage or a disadvantage. Simply being at this university is evidence of my privilege. Because I grew up in an upper-middle class family, I was able to live in a wealthy area with the top high school district in the nation. I and the people around me were told (and told each other) from the beginning that we would go to college and receive an education that would eventually lead us to high paying jobs. This continual reinforcement of the idea of college and a high paying…show more content…
Diversity simply means that many different groups are represented in a sample population. For example, an ethnically diverse room of people will have people of african descent, middle-eastern descent, european descent, asian descent, and hispanic descent all represented. A diverse group is not necessarily an equal group though. In her lectures on race and ethnicity, Dr. Feldman illustrates this point in a number of ways, the most telling of which are the median household incomes seperated by race. In a truly racially equal society, there will be people who struggle and people who accel, but there should be little to no discernable differences between races. Dr. Feldman presents a study in stark contrast to this, showing that each individual race performs at vastly different levels in terms of median annual income with the highest earning race making about twice as much as the lowest earning one (Feldman “Race…”). Although America is clearly diverse due to the presence of the many different ethnicities, it also fails to be equal. True equality means that every individual person has a fair chance of succeeding, regardless of what groups they are inherently affiliated with and a truly just society is equal. Our society cannot hope to be just unless it provides truly equal opportunities for the members affiliated with

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