Conference

An Examination of Privilege through the South Park Lens

Author
  • Jacqueline Pryor (Iowa State University)

Abstract

South Park is an animated series featuring four boys who live in the Colorado town of South Park, which is beset by frequent odd occurrences. The show grew out of a short film that Trey Parker and Matt Stone created called The Spirit of Christmas. The series, intended for adult audiences, is often viewed as controversial and inappropriate for children due to content. Each episode examines white privilege from a nonconfrontational stance in an extremely comical manner that allows viewers to examine white privilege on their own terms.

White privilege, as a term, was introduced by Peggy McIntosh in her essay “White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences through Work in Women’s Studies” (1988). McIntosh utilized a working definition of privilege as a special advantage, immunity, permission, right, or benefit granted to or enjoyed by an individual, class, or caste where such an advantage, immunity, or right was held as a prerogative of status or rank and exercised to the exclusion or detriment of others.

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Published on
02 Mar 2006
Peer Reviewed
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