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Social Equity and Public Administration

Meaning of Privilege and How It Works

Privilege refers to access to resources or social power readily available to people of a specific social group. Indeed, McIntosh (2018) defines the term as the benefits, social advantages, respect, and degree of prestige a person gets by belonging to a specific group. Within Western societies and American culture, the whites, Christians, heterosexuals, the wealthy, and males have historically occupied positions of dominance over others. Privilege work through specific targeting and marginalization of another social group. Precisely, privilege centers a unique voice and marginalizes that which is different. According to Gooden (2015), privileged social groups hide their honor by adopting a moral tone and promoting precise thinking. Therefore, privilege favors and benefits the majority groups, and it works by refusing to share a space with dissonant views.

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Importance of Representation in Bureaucracy

Representation in bureaucracy is a sure way for different social groups to improve organizational performance. According to the representative bureaucracy theory, representation in public firms improves the perceptions of power accessibility for societal groups and enhances the reflection of the group preferences in bureaucratic decision-making (Alkadry & Tower, 2014). It helps promote the complete representation of the people’s interests and enables responsive and effective delivery of services. Representative bureaucracy encourages the representation of different societal groups in government administrative organizations and reconciles the problems of under-representativeness.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is an American federal law that safeguards workers against prejudice based on different features like religion, sex, national origin, color, and race. The law forbids the employer from discriminating against the employees under any circumstance, including privileges and conditions of employment (Alkadry & Tower, 2014). The policy covering employment agencies, labor, and the federal government forbids organizations from denying people employment or treating them differently based on workplace decisions regarding perceived religious, national, sexual, and racial features.

Occupational Segregation

The US and other late-industrial societies express the division of labor through occupations, each with specific tasks and roles tagged with famous labels like carpenter, plumber, lawyer, nurse, doctor, engineer, and politician. Alkadry and Tower (2014) define occupational segregation as distributing employees across and within occupations based on their demographic features like gender and race. Based on their demographic data, women and men take and choose different fields, which also serve as a significant source of privilege.

Representation of Women in the Public Sector

Although women account for a more significant fraction of the US population, the male gender possesses the leadership privilege, making women underrepresented in the US arms of government. The underrepresentation emerges from the gender images that disassociate women and leadership skills (Alkadry & Tower, 2014). The fewer women leaders in the public sector are even worse for young, black, and low-income women.

Racial Disparities in Educational Attainment

The white privilege in academic achievements is evident in the US educational system. Indeed, Native Americans, Hispanics, and Black Americans tend to have lower academic achievements than whites. Except for Asian Americans, the other minority groups find it hard to complete college and university degrees (Gooden, 2015). The discrepancies in academic achievement emerge from the more great educational disparities in the US learning institutions and underrepresentation in talented education programs.

Promotion of Racial and Ethnic Equity

The US government can promote ethnic and racial equity through government apologies and comparative nervousness. According to Gooden (2015), regime apologies for human injustices can help promote reconciliation among parties and eliminate blaming victims for their circumstances. Similarly, the government can promote social and racial equity by saturating intergenerational racial discrepancies across policy contexts like economics, criminal justice, education, housing, and the environment. Hence, the government should apologize for the injustices towards the minority groups and eliminate the white privilege in different public institutions.

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Alkadry, M. G., & Tower, L. E. (2014). Women and public service: Barriers, challenges, and opportunities. Routledge.

Gooden, S. T. (2015). Race and social equity: A nervous area of government. Routledge.

McIntosh, P. (2018). White privilege and male privilege. In M. S. Kimmel & A. L. Ferber (Eds). Privilege: A reader (4th ed, pp. 28-40). Routledge.

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