Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Family Structure as a Privilege

It's a privilege to talk about privilege. 

I wrote this on Facebook a few weeks ago. 
  Each person is like the top cup on a pyramid of red drinking cups. Some cups are several levels high and others are knocked to the ground and slightly crushed or not on the ground but definitely off balance. The fact their social capital has been built up over generations (layers of support) in regard to wealth and family stability. To who you were born to, plays a lot into life. We have an obligation to make sure that each red cup standing up in the right direction, but almost impossible to replicate the same stacking/social capital/privilege another person may have. 

Then here today May 2014

From Campus Reform "Harvard plans mandatory power and privilege training for poli sci students" 
“A mandatory power and privilege training that examines components of race, gender, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, ability, religion, international status, and power differentials for every incoming HKS student starting August 2014.” 
I was a poli-sci student at UMASS Dartmouth, then UMASS Lowell in the mid-late 1990s.   

What about the privilege of family structure? 

There was lots of research in the 1990s on family structure and childhood outcomes. 
"We estimate that as much as half of the disadvantage associated with father absence is due to the economic insecurity and instability. Another quarter is due to the loss of parental time and supervision, and the rest is probably due to a loss of social capital attributable in large measure to the higher incidence of residential mobility among single mothers and remarried mothers."

My advice to Harvard Poli-Sci students is to get out into the streets and see how public policy in regards fatherless and the decline of marriage.  You want to rebuild our communities or simply talk about your privilege?  It will be a long road ahead to repair the damage, longer than an election cycle, and you will have to be bipartisan. 

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