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Old 04-26-2013, 12:03 PM
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Emm Emm is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,423

Part of the problem may be that the word has different meaning in a casual or conversational context than it does in a sociological context.

Just as non-scientists often equate the word "theory" with a wild-assed guess rather than as an explanation based on observation, experimentation and reasoning that has been tested and confirmed as a general principle helping to explain and predict natural phenomena, "privilege" is casually understood to be a special right either gained unearned through birth or by deliberately stomping all over those less fortunate, whereas in a more academic context it can simply mean accidentally having an advantage that others accidentally lack.

If someone feels you're accusing them of deliberately putting people down in order to gain advantage for themselves when they've done no such thing it's no wonder they become defensive. Unfortunately the English language is imprecise in just enough places to allow that sort of miscommunication.
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