Shannon Sullivan, "White Priority and White Class Privilege in the Lives of Good White People"

CSREA, Lippitt House, 96 Waterman Street

This presentation will untangle some of the complex relationships between race and class in contemporary white identity in the U.S. Beginning with an examination of how good white liberals often use intra-race class differences to establish their racial goodness, Sullivan then will challenge the false universalism built into the concept of white privilege. Using the concept of "white priority," she will distinguish the white class privilege that is distinctive to middle-to-upper class white people from the sense of white priority--of taking precedence over others--that white people of all classes generally share. 


Shannon Sullivan is Chair of Philosophy and Professor of Philosophy and Health Psychology at UNC Charlotte. She specializes in feminist philosophy, critical philosophy of race, American philosophy (especially pragmatism), and continental philosophy. She is the author of four books, most recently "Good White People: The Problem with Middle-Class White Anti-Racism" (2014) and "The Physiology of Sexist and Racist Oppression" (2015). She also is co-editor of four books, including "Race and Epistemologies of Ignorance" (2007) and "Feminist Interpretations of William James" (2015).


The Department of Philosophy