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.
Table of Contents
Part I: The Privilege Papers
A Letter about the Privilege Papers
1. White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women’s Studies (1988)
2. White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack (1989)
3. Some Notes for Facilitators on Presenting My White Privilege Papers (2004, 2018)
4. Selection from "White Privilege, Color and Crime: A Personal Account" (1998)
5. Selection from "White Privilege: An Account to Spend" (2009)
6. White People Facing Race: Uncovering the Myths that Keep Racism in Place (2009)
Part II: The Fraudulence Papers
A Letter about the Fraudulence Papers
7. Feeling Like a Fraud, Part I (1985)
8. Selection from "Feeling Like A Fraud, Part II" (1989)
9. Selection from "Feeling Like a Fraud - Part III: Finding Authentic Ways of Coming into Conflict" (2000)
10. Feeling Like A Fraud, Part IV (2019)
Part III: The Phase Theory Papers
A Letter about Phase Theory
11. The Study of Women: Implications for Reconstructing the Liberal Arts Disciplines (1981)
12. Interactive Phases of Curricular Re-Vision: A Feminist Perspective (1983)
13. Selection from "Interactive Phases of Curricular and Personal Re-Vision with Regard to Race" (1990)
Part IV: The SEED Project Papers
A Letter about the National SEED Project
14. Selection from "Faculty-Centered Faculty Development" (1994)
[Peggy McIntosh and Emily Style]
15. Selection from "Social, Emotional, and Political Learning" (1999)
[Peggy McIntosh and Emily Style]
16. Selection from "Teacher Self-Knowledge: The Deeper Learning" (2015) [Peggy McIntosh, Hugo Mahabir, Bob Gordon, and Ruth Mendoza]
Part V Closing
A Closing Letter
Peggy McIntosh is Senior Research Associate of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She is Founder of the National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity). She consults widely in the United States and throughout the world with college and school faculty who are creating more gender-fair and multicultural curricula.
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
What a gift to have this collection of Peggy McIntosh’s papers! She has been a foundational leader who has already transformed our thinking and teaching, but her work will now be available to new audiences. This collection of her essays gives us her long-range view of white privilege, fraudulence, and the advancement of education through inclusion. Her work can now inspire new generations of thinkers, teachers, social justice advocates, and anyone dreaming of a more just world.
–Dr. Margaret L. Andersen, Rosenberg Professor of Sociology Emerita, University of Delaware
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