Invisible Knapsacks

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Overview

This discussion-based activity guides students in understanding privilege as a concept and recognizing the ways their own privileges benefit them and impacts daily life. If you as an instructor need a refresher or introduction to privilege before leading this activity, please review “An Instructor’s Guide to Understanding Privilege.” All other necessary materials are linked as PDF’s below.

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Perfectly Logical Explanations

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This discussion guide is intended to serve as an example of how to engage with “perfectly logical explanation” or dominant narratives (well-known and widely accepted explanations or narratives that are typically in service of the interests and ideologies of dominant social groups) raised in classroom discussion. While the guide below specifically uses a discussion about the representation of women in video games as an example, it is designed to exemplify the kinds of questions that could be raised to critically interrogate any dominant narrative. For more information about Perfectly Logical Explanations (PLE) and the related concepts of multipartiality and powerbalancing, view: http://www.academia.edu/11240620/Facilitating_through_perfectly_logical_explanations_and_other_challenging_participant_comments

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Mapping Social Identity Timeline Activity

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This activity asks students to create a visual map of their socialization in some aspect of identity (such as race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) through the course of their life. Students will create a timeline of their lives, noting at what ages they learned particular lessons about their identity, by whom those lessons were taught, and how those lessons were taught.

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School You, Inc.

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In this activity, students imagine creating a school designed to maintain oppressive norms. Students will consider not only what institutional oppression looks like, but how it is perpetuated as they are encouraged to make their maintenance of oppressive norms subtle and devious. A debriefing discussion after the activity is concluded will encourage students to reflect critically on how the construction of their imagined school relates to real-life institutions and the perpetuation of institutional oppressive norms. The activity can be structured as a large group discussion/activity, a small group discussion/activity with a facilitator assigned to each group, or a small group activity with the entire class debriefing together after the activity is concluded.

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