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 Religion and Privilege

SOCW 6051: Diversity, Human Rights, and Social Justice

Week 8

Discussion: Religion and Privilege

For citizens in some countries, religious oppression is common and long standing. While freedom of religion is guaranteed in the U.S., religious intolerance still exists. According to the Equal Opportunity Employment commission, the number of lawsuits filed for religious discrimination doubled between 2000–2010 (Pledger, 2011). Social workers must be alert for the complex ways that religious privilege functions. By creating an awareness of the privilege given to some while marginalizing others, social workers can understand how this bias impacts their clients.

By Day 07/21/2021

Post an explanation of the connections between privilege and religion. Describe a situation in which members of a religion experience privilege. Describe a situation in which members of a religion experience religious oppression.

Please follow Rubric Detail

Responsiveness to Directions

8.1 (27%) – 9 (30%)

Discussion posting fully addresses all instruction prompts, including responding to the required number of peer posts.

Discussion Posting Content

8.1 (27%) – 9 (30%)

Discussion posting demonstrates an excellent understanding of all of the concepts and key points presented in the text(s) and Learning Resources. Posting provides significant detail including multiple relevant examples, evidence from the readings and other scholarly sources, and discerning ideas.

Peer Feedback and Interaction

6.75 (22.5%) – 7.5 (25%)

The feedback postings and responses to questions are excellent and fully contribute to the quality of interaction by offering constructive critique, suggestions, in-depth questions, additional resources, and stimulating thoughts and/or probes.


4.05 (13.5%) – 4.5 (15%)

Postings are well organized, use scholarly tone, contain original writing and proper paraphrasing, follow APA style, contain very few or no writing and/or spelling errors, and are fully consistent with graduate level writing style.

Assignment: Journal Entry–Intersection and Religious Discrimination

When pieces of cloth are sewn together, you might have trouble discerning the individual pieces of cloth that make the final garment, but by looking carefully, you can find the seams. You may have experienced similar difficulty in the first week of this course when asked to explore the individual aspects of culture that combine to create your unique self-identity. Forms of oppression can come together often in almost imperceptible ways to form the complex environment in which you and your clients live and interact. As a social worker, you must examine carefully the intersections between religious discrimination, sexism, classism, and racism so you can respond accordingly.

To prepare: Consider this week’s resources that describe how religion intersects with other forms of oppression.

By Day 7 07/24/2021

Submit your response to those resources and analyze what you think is the role of religion in reinforcing sexism, classism, and racism. Provide at least one specific example for each -ism (sexism, classism, and racism). As a social worker, how can you address these issues on a micro and macro level?

Follow Rubric Detail

Content Accuracy and Application 

18 (36%) – 20 (40%)

Content includes excellent answers, specific to the questions asked and issues presented. A clear connection to the concepts presented in readings and resources is applied to the journal. Journal response demonstrates an excellent understanding of all of the concepts and key points presented in the text(s) and Learning Resources.

Critical Thinking and Reflection

18 (36%) – 20 (40%)

The entry demonstrates exceptionally thoughtful in-depth reflection on the topic that draws on knowledge gained throughout the course. Content demonstrates a high level of critical thinking and understanding of personal perspective.


9 (18%) – 10 (20%)

Journal response is well-organized, uses appropriate tone, uses original writing and proper paraphrasing, contains very few or no writing and/or spelling errors, and is fully consistent with graduate-level writing style. Journal uses appropriate citation if referencing resources.

Required Readings

Adams, M., Blumenfeld, W. J., Castaneda, C., Catalano, D. C. J., DeJong, K., Hackman, H. W,… Zuniga, X. (Eds.). (2018). Readings for diversity and social justice (4th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge Press.

  • Section 4 Introduction (pp.      247-258)
  • Chapter 45, America’s changing      religious landscape by Pew Research Center (pp. 259-264)
  • Chapter 46, Examples of      Christian privilege (pp. 264-265)
  • Chapter 51, Working it out      (pp. 291-298)
  • Chapter 52, Native American      religious liberty: 500 years after Columbus (pp.  298-301)
  • Chapter 53, Religious freedom      advocates are divided over how to address LGBT rights (pp. 302-204)
  • Chapter 56, Jews in the US:      The rising costs of whiteness (pp. 312-316)
  • Ch 57, Oral history of (pp.      317-319)
  • Chapter 58, Modesto-area      atheists speak up, seek tolerance (pp. 319-321)
  • Chapter 60, Creating      identity-safe spaces on college campuses for Muslim students (pp.       325-328)
  • Chapter 62, Critical      reflections on interfaith movement (pp. 330-339)    

Required Media

Mogahed, D. (2016, February). What do you think when you look at me [Video file]. Retrieved from

Phelp-Roper, M. (2017, February). I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here’s why I left [Video file]. Retrieved from

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