The concept of privilege is widely used in social justice education to denote unearned advantages accrued by members of dominant groups through the oppression of subordinate groups. In this conceptual essay, Nicolas Tanchuk, Tomas Rocha, and Marc Kruse argue that an atomistic conception of advantage implicit in the discourse of privilege supports persistent inequity between groups contrary to the intentions of social justice educators. To solve this “problem of privilege,” the authors draw on themes in Black feminist and Indigenous thought to advance a reframing of the way educators teach advantage that is based in foundational relational responsibilities. This new frame, social justice education as mutual aid, retains the power to describe oppressive relations between groups while portraying oppression as disadvantageous to all.

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