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Identifying Privilege and White Fragility
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White Fragility
social problems

How to Cite

Miller, Brennan. 2016. “Identifying Privilege and White Fragility”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, July. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


The purpose of this activity is to give students a better understanding of racial privilege by having them identify "White Fragility"— when the least amount of racial stress provokes emotional and behavioral defensive moves, such as anger or evasion. This activity assesses students’ comprehension of White Fragility and students’ ability to understand the...

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Subject Area(s):
Racial and Ethnic Relations
Resource Type(s):
Class Activity
Class Level(s):
Any Level
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

Usage Notes:

This activity is best suited for a race/ethnicity course, social problems, or other courses that give significant attention to racial matters.

To use this in a larger class, instructors can implement clickers for students to identify the racial triggers in connection with potential responses. The instructor can place the...

Download this resource to see full details. Download this resource to see full details.

Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Students will be able to define White Fragility and three aspects of privileged groups (i.e. viewed as societal norm, can avoid objecting to oppression, and are not seen as holding privilege).
  2. Students will apply the triggers of racial stress by identifying potential reactions to corresponding triggers.
  3. Challenge the tenets of privilege and White Fragility through self-reflection.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. During an instructor led discussion, students will define and provide examples of privilege and White Fragility.
  2. Students will complete a worksheet that will be used to assess their comprehension of the material.
  3. Students will write a critical reflection paper about how White Fragility and privilege relate to daily interactions of race relations.

When using resources from TRAILS, please include a clear and legible citation.

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Requires Subscription DOC

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