Need a perfect paper? Place your first order and save 5% with this code:   SAVE5NOW

Analysis of Chapter 6 in Sensoy and DiAngelo’s “Is Everyone Really Equal?”

Chapter 6 of “Is Everyone Really Equal?” takes the reader into a maze of ideologies that support privilege. The authors analyze the institutional structures that sustain dominance. The chapter breaks down common beliefs such as meritocracy, equal opportunity, individualism, and human nature. Therefore, this paper shows how these ideologies weave the perceptions of the dominant group and reveals the dynamics between ideology, socialization, and normalization of dominance in modern societies.

Chapter 6 focuses on the omnipresent ideologies that inform privilege and guide social institutions. Sensoy and DiAngelo unpack concepts such as meritocracy, equal opportunity, individualism, and human nature to explain how they maintain dominance. Meritocracy justifies current hierarchies by suggesting that those on top deserve their position through superior aptitude and diligence. The idea of equal opportunity also does not take into consideration systemic barriers and disparities that hold back marginalized groups. Furthermore, individualism suggests that success is attributable to personal traits and not societal structures and advantages. Besides, human nature justifies privilege as a given, continuing the belief that certain people are superior or inferior by genes, culture, or some divine force.

These ideologies legitimize privilege and socialize the dominant group reconfirming its perception of the right and being entitled. Dominant group members understand their success as the result of individual effort and merit. It reinforces their belief in meritedness and entitlement to power. This view fails to notice the systemic advantages and makes it seem like a myth of a leveled playing field. Also, the internalization of messages of superiority makes dominant group members consider their dominance as inevitable and natural. Therefore, chapter 6 explains how ideologies legitimize privilege and promote the brainwashing of the dominant group consequently reinforcing inequality, and sustaining the status quo.

The authors create an engaging argument that revolves around the dominance and privilege ideologies. However, the authors mainly concentrate on how people from the dominant group are socialized to acquiesce while neglecting to address issues related to agency and responsibility. Accordingly, my stand argues that although the authors skillfully dismember the ideologies propping up dominance, a more refined scrutiny of individual responsibility by dominant constituencies is needed to make the social transformation.

Sensoy and DiAngelo explain the ideologies such as meritocracy and individualism that are so widely accepted in contemporary society. They make strong cases about how these ideologies justify unfairness by creating a situation whereby success and individual achievement are all tied to individual merit. Therefore, the dominant group does nothing wrong against the oppressed. The authors elaborate on how the meritocracy mindset is coupled with the myth of ‘pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. This ideology ignores structural barriers that interfere with accessing opportunities for marginalized groups. Moreover, the authors point out how individualism undermines the structure’s influence in individual life direction making it possible for people to believe that the gap is only based on their strengths or weaknesses. Hence, the ideologies perpetuate a vicious circle of inequality.

The authors show certain strengths in criticism of the predominating ideologies to come out. The authors reveal the ideological weaknesses of the concepts as such to demonstrate how those beliefs support the continuity of privilege in ruler groups. The chapter shows the ideologies intersections which act as a reinforcing metanarrative that legitimizes dominant established power structures. In addition, the authors address the paradox between internalized superiority and privilege that portrays the fact that those in the dominant group are often blind to their prejudices and the structural benefits. This insight brings a new layer to their assertion that there is a foundational nature of privilege within the social system.

Nevertheless, it is necessary to admit the possible pitfalls of Sensoy and DiAngelo’s analysis. Although the chapter gives a comprehensive analysis of the ideologies supporting the privilege, however, this could be made more by introducing counter-arguments or another viewpoint. A more subtle examination of the circumstances, where such ideologies could be relevant would enhance the argument. Moreover, a mention of cases when privilege overlaps with other identities, including class or geography, can deepen the conversation in light of this statement. While such factors need to be taken into consideration, the work of Sensoy and DiAngelo provides essential lessons for critical social justice scholarship.

Chapter 6 poses a critical challenge and questions the hypothetical point of view for an analytical lens. One relevant question comes into effect as they relate to the possible adaptability or formulation of existing ideologies, instead of outright rejection. Can we restructure meritocracy, equal opportunity, individualism, and ideas about human nature in such a way that privilege is denied rather than suppressed? Also, other obstacles can take shape in the form of opposing opinions that would assert their argument for objectivity in merit or effectiveness of individual agency. Critics can argue that individual achievements and hard work do genuinely contribute to success which would contradict the authors’ on why these ideologies by themselves lead to maintaining dominance. Answering these questions and addressing these challenges provides an alternative to a single-minded approach.

The chapter explicates the concept of intersectionality through the dynamics between disparate social group identities. The concept of intersectionality presupposes that individuals are members of multiple social groups at a time. Thereby it makes the situation or status quo diverse, attaching privileges and oppression in an intersecting manner. The chapter offers actual instances of the manifestation of different forms of oppression combined to make more harmful conditions for minoritized groups. The cases of mandatory sterilization of Women of Color, the location of native women, and women with imperfections, and the creation of racial classifications on intelligence, prove interdependencies between racism, ableism, and sexism. Sensoy and DiAngelo explore these subtle intersections to understand how privilege operates within the woven nature of social identities and the compounded effects of multiple forms of oppression on individuals.

Finally, Chapter 6 highlights how privilege and dominance are manifested in societal structures, beliefs, and perceptions. The chapter unveils how these tenets justify the privilege they create and subsequently reproduce inequalities. Considering the strengths of the authors’ arguments in exposing these dynamics hither, it is fundamental to critically evaluate their weaknesses and explore alternative opinions. Through the analysis of various social group identities such as Blacks, Whites, and Hispanics, intersectionality with living and learning how privilege works. Hence, it is apparent that fighting systemic injustice can only be done through continuous critical analysis and persistent social justice movements.


Sensoy, O., & DiAngelo, R. (2017). Is everyone really equal?: An introduction to key concepts in social justice education (2nd ed.). Teachers College Press.


Don't have time to write this essay on your own?
Use our essay writing service and save your time. We guarantee high quality, on-time delivery and 100% confidentiality. All our papers are written from scratch according to your instructions and are plagiarism free.
Place an order

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Need a plagiarism free essay written by an educator?
Order it today

Popular Essay Topics