Let's Talk About Race:
Recognising Privilege

Journal Entries

About this document


At key moments in the Bodyswaps experience, useful notes are added to the learner’s virtual journal as a memory prompt that they can refer back to, as and when required. 

In VR, learners access their journal by looking at their avatar’s left hand. On other devices, it can be accessed via a ‘burger menu’ in the top left corner of the screen. 

This document collates the journal entries in relation to the individual activities for this course.

Introduction and self-reflection

Recognising Privilege

Recognising Privilege


Explore how privilege (or lack of it) shapes our lives


  • Understand privilege
  • Explore the relationship between intersectionality and privilege
  • Identify privilege
  • Unwrap the myth of meritocracy

Privilege means…

… having access to or enjoying an unearned right, benefit or advantage, simply by belonging to a particular group or identity. 

In many societies, privileges are centred around the dominant culture, one of the most prevalent being whiteness. This is reflected in the political, institutional and economic power structures - or systems - of that society.


Intersectionality relates to the way different social identities like race, class, sexuality, religion, and gender ‘intersect’ and overlap with one another to shape each person’s lived experience differently. 

For example, a woman often experiences sexism, but a black queer woman is likely to experience sexism, racism and homophobia.

Privilege and race

Privilege and race

The legacies of colonialism

Racial privilege is often associated with the legacies of colonialism - the historical practice of settlers occupying another country’s land to exploit its people and natural resources.

Colonizers introduced systems to suppress the Indigenous people who were already there and other ethnic groups were oppressed as slaves and indentured labour. 

Acknowledgement for colonial injustices have begun, but the legacies of systemic racism put in place during those times remain.

Identifying privilege

An unfair advantage

Socio-Economic Privilege

When we consider Jeremy’s presentation, we can see that his socio-economic status (SES) gave him privileges that many young people don’t have.

Socio-economic privilege doesn’t have to mean being rich. It could mean having sufficient resources to take advantage of opportunities that give your career a head start.


For example: 

  • Parents who went to university
  • Money for education
  • Taking a year out to travel
  • Influential connections
  • Financial and living support
  • Free facilities
  • Financial backing for loans and credit

The myth of meritocracy

An unfair advantage

The myth of meritocracy 

Meritocracy: the belief that class mobility can solely be achieved through talent and hard work. 

The myth of meritocracy: Life is not a level playing field. Privileged people have access to better schooling, better jobs, higher status and income. Disadvantaged people have to overcome this structural barrier before they can even start to compete.