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Unveiling Privilege to Broaden Participation

Abstract

"The underrepresentation of women and people of color in physics has been attributed to a wide variety of factors ranging from society-wide conditions such as income inequality and sparse role models, to daily interpersonal interactions that disadvantage or discourage women and people of color from pursuing physics. These factors may be seen as manifestations of White and/or male privilege: social, economic, educational, or political advantages that are made available to Whites and males on the basis of their social identity. White male privilege pervades the discipline of physics as well as the classrooms in which physics is taught and learned. For example, physics is portrayed in textbooks as the product of individual great men, independent of all social or political contexts, rather than as being shaped by the culture of the European Enlightenment (among other cultures) or the conditions during specific international conflicts."

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