On Privilege, Fraudulence, and Teaching As Learning: Selected Essays 1981-2019

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From one of the world’s leading voices on white privilege and anti-racism work comes this collection of essays on complexities of privilege and power. Each of the four parts illustrates Peggy McIntosh’s practice of combining personal and systemic understandings to focus on power in unusual ways.

Part I includes McIntosh’s classic and influential essays on privilege, or systems of unearned advantage that correspond to systems of oppression.

Part II helps readers to understand that feelings of fraudulence may be imposed by our hierarchical cultures rather than by any actual weakness or personal shortcomings.

Part III presents McIntosh‘s Interactive Phase Theory, highlighting five different world views, or attitudes about power, that affect school curriculum, cultural values, and decisions on taking action.

The book concludes with powerful insights from SEED,  a peer-led teacher development project that enables individuals and institutions to work collectively toward equity and social justice. This book is the culmination of forty years of McIntosh’s intellectual and organizational work.

“It is rare that one gets the chance to meet or read in one’s lifetime the originator of a new way of thinking or believing in the world of ideas. The legendary Peggy McIntosh is such a transformative figure. Her work is fundamental and foundational to our thinking on white privilege, and the subtle and myriad ways that race operates to the advantage of white folk while denying benefit and advantage to nonwhite people. She is also on par with the most gifted translators of complicated ideas and complex concepts we have had in a generation, and millions of people can trace their thinking about whiteness and privilege to her lucid and creative essays. Peggy McIntosh is a national treasure, and this powerhouse collection of her finest thinking and most brilliant reflections over the last few decades will solidly her sui generis stature as an American Original."
– Michael Eric Dyson, Professor of Sociology, Georgetown University

“This collection serves as a reminder that systemic power and privilege is weakened when we reignite our humanity’s natural curiosity, vulnerability, and longing for one another’s well-being. Where whiteness pressures us to be experts produced by hierarchical systems and structures, these essays invite us to consider the world of knowledge we tap into when we remain grounded in one another’s life experiences and inner knowledge. This compilation is a call to co-create a more humane and connected world.”
– Debby Irving, Racial Justice Educator & Writer

Peggy McIntosh's transformative thought is deep, engaging, and vitally important for our times.
–Hugh Vasquez, National Equity Project

“These writings reveal the heart and mind of a great student of life, a great teacher, and revolutionary social thinker. Her contribution to emerging social justice discourse is incalculable.”
– Victor Lee Lewis, Radical Resilience Institute