White Privilege

four women sitting on black steel bench during daytime
Type: Vocabulary
Originally published on October 6, 2020 and last updated on February 4, 2023

White privilege is the idea that people with white skin get advantages in society purely based on the colour of their skin. As the fight for racial equality has increased over recent years so has the term white privilege.

There seems to be a divide amongst people as to whether people are privileged solely based on their skin colour, and whether in fact white privilege even exists. Some say it is clear through what they claim is systemic racism which runs through nearly every aspect of society while others argue that in this day and age the same opportunities are available for all races and any privilege is based on class rather than race.

Go through the vocabulary below with your students and ask them to try and use this vocabaulry where possible when discussing the different conversation questions.

Useful Vocabulary

Try and use the following vocabulary when answering the question. Click to look up the definition in the dictionary

  • privileged (adjective)
  • racism (noun)
  • systemic (adjective)
  • opportunity (noun)
  • fair (adjective)
  • divide (noun)

Conversation Questions

  • Does white privilege exist?
  • How would you describe white privilege?
  • Do you think white privilege exists in your country?
  • How important is it to recognise white privilege or any other privilege?
  • Do you think the term white privilege gets abused?
  • What is the solution to white privilege?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.