Humanities : Self-examination, health and medicine homework help
During this week, you will become familiar with multiple factors
that can contribute to the success or failure of a therapeutic
encounter. Researchers pointed out that a therapists ability to
apply a specific therapeutic model successfully usually accounts
for only about 8 to 15 percent of a successful outcome, while a
therapists ability to establish a meaningful connection with a
client, will account for as much as 30 percent. Therefore, it is
important to examine and apply in practice diverse factors that
contribute to the development of a successful therapeutic alliance
between a client and a therapist. Among many other factors, taking
into consideration the diversity of our backgrounds and experiences
and building our connections while accounting for the concept of
diversity constitute important steps towards success. In addition,
become aware of our own perceptions, belief systems, and general
way of being is an important aspect of our continuous professional
development as Marriage and Family Therapist. This week, you will
Signature Assignment, which will constitute the
first step in this developmental process, which will continue
throughout the program.
Be sure to carefully review this weeks resources. You will be
expected to apply the information from these resources when you
prepare your assignments.
This assignment invites you to engage in self-examination, which
will help you to become more aware of the unique features of your
experiences, beliefs, and values. Everything we see is filtered
through our personal frame of reference and our very presence
changes the context. Therefore, we do not discover behavior, we
create it (Becvar & Becvar, 1999, p. 36). This means that we
can never achieve a completely neutral stance; we can never divorce
ourselves from our own biases, assumptions, and beliefs. What we
can do is to take responsibility for our assumptions, biases and
beliefs and recognize them as such. This process requires recurrent
self-examination and self-reflection.
Part I(Adopted from Johnny Saldana):
Divide an empty sheet of paper into three parts. On the top of
the paper, please write: This is where I am today, in the middle
This is how I got here, and towards the bottom This is where I
would like to be. Then take a few moments and write a short
paragraph to describe each statement in the framework of your
professional aspiration to become a successful and culturally
competent Marriage and Family Therapist.
Part II: Self-observation
Choose a public location where you can easily observe people
without necessarily being noticed. Take 15 minutes to observe
several people that you notice in the crowd. You can choose to take
notes pertaining to the type of people that you are noticing, your
reactions towards these people, and your thoughts while completing
this assignment. After completing the assignment, write a 2-3 page
paper summarizing your experience pertaining to these three
categories (people description, your reactions [physical and
emotional], your thoughts in the process of completing the
Northcentral University. (2016). NCU’s conversation on diversity
NCU SMFS Diversity Conversation.
WHITE PRIVILEGE: UNPACKING THE INVISIBLE KNAPSACK
I was taught to see racism only in individual
acts of meanness, not in invisible systems
conferring dominance on my group.
Through work to bring materials from women’s studies into the
rest of the curriculum, I have often noticed men’s unwillingness to
grant that they are overprivileged, even though they may grant that
women are disadvantaged. They may say they will work to improve
women’s status, in the society, the university, or the curriculum,
but they can’t or won’t support the idea of lessening men’s.
Denials that amount to taboos surround the subject of advantages
that men gain from women’s disadvantages. These denials protect
male privilege from being fully acknowledged, lessened, or
Thinking through unacknowledged male privilege as a phenomenon,
I realized that, since hierarchies in our society are interlocking,
there was most likely a phenomenon of white privilege that was
similarly denied and protected. As a white person, I realized I had
been taught about racism as something that puts others at a
disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary
aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage.
I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white
privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege. So
I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like to have
white privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an invisible
package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day,
but about which I was “meant” to remain oblivious. White privilege
is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions,
maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank
Describing white privilege makes one newly accountable. As we in
women’s studies work to reveal male privilege and ask men to give
up some of their power, so one who writes about having white
privilege must ask, “Having described it, what will I do to lessen
or end it?”
After I realized the extent to which men work from a base of
unacknowledged privilege, I understood that much of their
oppressiveness was unconscious. Then I remembered the frequent
charges from women of color that white women whom they encounter
are oppressive. I began to understand why we are justly seen as
oppressive, even when we don’t see ourselves that way. I began to
count the ways in which I enjoy unearned skin privilege and have
been conditioned into oblivion about its existence.
My schooling gave me no training in seeing myself as an
oppressor, as an unfairly advantaged person, or as a participant in
a damaged culture. I was taught to see myself as an individual
whose moral state depended on her individual moral will. My
schooling followed the pattern my colleague Elizabeth Minnich has
pointed out: whites are taught to think of their lives as morally
neutral, normative, and average, and also ideal, so that when we
work to benefit others, this is seen as work that will allow “them”
to be more like “us.”
Daily effects of white
I decided to try to work on myself at least by identifying some
of the daily effects of white privilege in my life. I have chosen
those conditions that I think in my case attach somewhat more to
skin-color privilege than to class, religion, ethnic status, or
geographic location, though of course all these other factors are
intricately intertwined. As far as I can tell, my African American
coworkers, friends, and acquaintances with whom I come into daily
or frequent contact in this particular time, place, and line of
work cannot count on most of these conditions.
1. I can, if I wish, arrange to be in the company of people of
my race most of the time.
2. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or
purchasing housing in an area that I can afford and in which I
would want to live.
3. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location
will be neutral or pleasant to me.
4. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well
assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
5. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of
the paper and see people of my race widely represented.
6. When I am told about our national heritage or about
“civilization,” I am shown that people of my color made it what it
7. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular
materials that testify to the existence of their race.
8. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher
for this piece on white privilege.
9. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of
my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods
that fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser’s shop and
find someone who can deal with my hair.
10. Whether I use checks, credit cards, or cash, I can count on
my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial
11. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from
people who might not like them.
12. I can swear, or dress in second-hand clothes, or not answer
letters without having people attribute these choices to the bad
morals, the poverty, or the illiteracy of my race.
13. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without
putting my race on trial.
14. I can do well in a challenging situation without being
called a credit to my race.
15. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial
16. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of
persons of color, who constitute the world’s majority, without
feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.
17. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I
fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural
outsider. 18. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to “the
person in charge” I will be facing a person of my race.
19. If a traffic cop pulls me over, or if the IRS audits my tax
return, I can be sure I haven’t been singled out because of my
20. I can easily buy posters, postcards, picture books,
greeting cards, dolls, toys, and children’s magazines featuring
people of my race.
21. I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong
to feeling somewhat tied in rather than isolated, out of place,
outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance, or feared.
22. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer
without having coworkers on the job suspect that I got it because
23. I can choose public accommodation without fearing that
people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the places
I have chosen.
24. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help my race
will not work against me.
25. If my day, week, or year is going badly, I need not ask of
each negative episode or situation whether it has racial
26. I can choose blemish cover or bandages in “flesh” color
that more or less match my skin.
Elusive and fugitive
I repeatedly forgot each of the realizations on this list until
I wrote it down. For me white privilege has turned out to be an
elusive and fugitive subject. The pressure to avoid it is great,
for in facing it I must give up the myth of meritocracy. If these
things are true, this is not such a free country; one’s life is not
what one makes it; many doors open for certain people through no
virtues of their own.
In unpacking this invisible knapsack of white privilege, I have
listed conditions of daily experience that I once took for granted.
Nor did I think of any of these perquisites as bad for the holder.
I now think that we need a more finely differentiated taxonomy of
privilege, for some of these varieties are only what one would want
for everyone in a just society, and others give license to be
ignorant, oblivious, arrogant, and destructive.
I see a pattern running through the matrix of white privilege, a
pattern of assumptions that were passed on to me as a white person.
There was one main piece of cultural turf; it was my own turf, and
I was among those who could control the turf. My skin color was an
asset for any more I was educated to want to make. I could think of
myself as belonging in major ways and of making social systems work
for me. I could freely disparage, fear, neglect, or be oblivious to
anything outside of the dominant cultural forms. Being of the main
culture, I could also criticize it fairly freely.
In proportion as my racial group was being made confident,
comfortable, and oblivious, other groups were likely being made
unconfident, uncomfortable, and alienated. Whiteness protected me
from many kinds of hostility, distress, and violence, which I was
being subtly trained to visit, in turn, upon people of color.
For this reason, the word “privilege” now seems to me
misleading. We usually think of privilege as being a favored state,
whether earned or conferred by birth or luck. Yet some of the
conditions I have described here work systematically to overempower
certain groups. Such privilege simply confers dominance because of
one’s race or sex.
Earned strength, unearned
I want, then, to distinguish between earned strength and
unearned power conferred systemically. Power from unearned
privilege can look like strength when it is in fact permission to
escape or to dominate. But not all of the privileges on my list are
inevitably damaging. Some, like the expectation that neighbors will
be decent to you, or that your race will not count against you in
court, should be the norm in a just society. others, like the
privilege to ignore less powerful people, distort the humanity of
the holders as well as the ignored groups.
We might at least start by distinguishing between positive
advantages, which we can work to spread, and negative types of
advantage, which unless rejected will always reinforce our present
hierarchies. For example, the feeling that one belongs within the
human circle, as Native Americans say, should not be seen as
privilege for a few. Ideally it is an unearned entitlement. At
present, since only a few have it, it is an unearned advantage for
them. This paper results from a process of coming to see that some
of the power that I originally saw as attendant on being a human
being in the United States consisted in unearned advantage and
I have met very few men who are truly distressed about systemic,
unearned male advantage and conferred dominance. And so one
question for me and others like me is whether we will be like them,
or whether we will get truly distressed, even outraged, about
unearned race advantage and conferred dominance, and, if so, what
we will do to lessen them. In any case, we need to do more work in
identifying how they actually affect our daily lives. Many, perhaps
most, of our white students in the United States think that racism
doesn’t affect them because they are not people of color; they do
not see “whiteness” as a racial identity. In addition, since race
and sex are not the only advantaging systems at work, we need
similarly to examine the daily experience of having age advantage,
or ethnic advantage, or physical ability, or advantage related to
nationality, religion, or sexual orientation.
Difficulties and dangers surrounding the task of finding
parallels are many. Since racism, sexism, and heterosexism are not
the same, the advantages associated with them should not be seen as
the same. In addition, it is hard to disentangle aspects of
unearned advantage that rest more on social class, economic class,
race, religion, sex, and ethnic identity than on other factors.
Still, all of the oppressions are interlocking, as the members of
the Combahee River Collective pointed out in their “Black Feminist
Statement” of 1977.
One factor seems clear about all of the interlocking
oppressions. They take both active forms, which we can see, and
embedded forms, which as a member of the dominant group one is
taught not to see. In my class and place, I did not see myself as a
racist because I was taught to recognize racism only in individual
acts of meanness by members of my group, never in invisible systems
conferring unsought racial dominance on my group from birth.
Disapproving of the systems won’t be enough to change them. I
was taught to think that racism could end if white individuals
changed their attitudes. But a “white” skin in the United States
opens many doors for whites whether or not we approve of the way
dominance has been conferred on us. Individual acts can palliate,
but cannot end, these problems.
To redesign social systems we need first to acknowledge their
colossal unseen dimensions. The silences and denials surrounding
privilege are the key political tool here. They keep the thinking
about equality or equity incomplete, protecting unearned advantage
and conferred dominance by making these subjects taboo. Most talk
by whites about equal opportunity seems to me now to be about equal
opportunity to try to get into a position of dominance while
denying that systems of dominance exist.
It seems to me that obliviousness about white advantage, like
obliviousness about male advantage, is kept strongly inculturated
in the United States so as to maintain the myth of meritocracy, the
myth that democratic choice is equally available to all. Keeping
most people unaware that freedom of confident action is there for
just a small number of people props up those in power and serves to
keep power in the hands of the same groups that have most of it
Although systemic change takes many decades, there are pressing
questions for me and, I imagine, for some others like me if we
raise our daily consciousness on the perquisites of being
light-skinned. What will we do with such knowledge? As we know from
watching men, it is an open question whether we will choose to use
unearned advantage to weaken hidden systems of advantage, and
whether we will use any of our arbitrarily awarded power to try to
reconstruct power systems on a broader base.
Permission to reprint this excerpt must be obtained from Peggy
McIntosh at the address above or by calling her at
This excerpted essay is reprinted here from the July/August 1989
issue of Peace and Freedom, the bimonthly journal of the Women’s
International League for Peace and Freedom, based at 1213 Race St.,
Philadelphia PA 19107.
By Peggy McIntosh
Peggy McIntosh is associate director of the Wellesley College
Center for Research on Women. This essay is exerpted from Working
Paper 189, “White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account
of Coming To See Correspondences through Work in Women’s Studies”
(1988), by Peggy McIntosh; available for $4.00 from the Wellesley
College Center for Research on Women, Wellesley MA 02181. The
working paper contains a longer list of privileges.
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Part III: Self-reflection
In this part of the assignment, you are invited to reflect on
two concepts: change and diversity. Reflecting on the concept of
change, consider different factors that you believe are the most
important to create the experience of change. In a 1-page
reflection, please provide an example of a profound change that you
experienced at some point of your life.
Reflecting on diversity, use your critical and creative thinking
skills to compose a reflective essay that focuses on key ideas
related to diversity, your personal philosophy of diversity, and
the importance for cultural competence in family therapy. Please
incorporate references to the assigned readings to support your
thesis. Then following the examples in the Speak Out section on pp.
58-59 of the Family Therapy Magazine (see the Books and Resources
for this material), write your own entry to add to the page if you
were invited to speak out. The whole entry should be 4-5
Aspects of culture and diversity must be interwoven throughout
the three parts of this assignment.
Length: 6-8 pages total (includes parts I, II, and III)
Your paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the
ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new
thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your
response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA
Upload your assignment using the Upload Assignment button. Your
submission should be composed of three parts combined in one
document: self-examination (1 page), self-observation (2-3 pages
essay), and self-reflection (3-4 pages essay).