Privilege Paradigms

Question: Please explain what links you are making between this idea of privilege and paradigms. Can you draw on your own experiences of your own privilege here?

We have all experienced our own lives differently from one another which creates different paradigms for us all. Due to the many experiences we have all gone through, there are many factors that shape how we see the world around us and how we experience the world around us. For example, Singapore is a predominantly diverse Asian country that teaches no matter what race or religion, we are all equal. However, there is still some racism within Singapore whether someone is Asian or not due to their background. Personally I was born and raised in Singapore, attending a prestigious international school since the age of 4 and being exposed to many different cultures. However, when exposed to the local community of Singapore, I feel very out of place due to my background. I have a more western accent which the community around me notices and seen as someone who does not belong here, seen as a foreigner or specifically, ang moh (Caucasian) although I am not caucasian. However, when applying for different courses and interviews I am given the privilege of having a little more leniency in getting accepted due to the way I speak. I had an experience of when I was applying for my retail job at a local tech store, I was one of the few accepted due to the way I talk, my boss told me specifically she likes the way I speak and thinks everyone should speak like me. I did not think much of it because I saw it as a compliment rather than discrimination against locals who probably need the job more than I do. This links to my own paradigm of being someone who is privileged to go to a school such as UWCSEA, as we are all taught that we are all equal however when we interact with our local community of Singapore, we are seen as different, privileged, rich, and are given either special treatment or belittled.

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One thought on “Privilege Paradigms

  • September 6, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    Thanks Niko. That’s really interesting – and I wonder when you were accepted for the job what the lady really thought. I guess it seems like you are right, that you had special treatment that perhaps someone else would not get, and you got a job more easily that others would. And that is the essence of privilege, for sure.

    Of course if you were to go to come other parts of the world you would likely suffer the opposite. And then there is male privilege too. So these things are complicated, overlap and vary from place to place.

    This is a good personal example Niko. -thank you



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