Shamus Khan: Privilege
In this lecture, based on his acclaimed book, Shamus Khan exposes the production of elites.
Shamus Khan. Foto: Columbia University
In Privilege, Khan returns to his alma mater -- St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, one of the most prestigious high schools in the nation -- to provide an inside look at an institution that has been the private realm of the elite for the past 150 years. He shows that St. Paul's students continue to learn what they always have--how to embody privilege. Yet, while students once leveraged the trappings of upper-class entitlement, family connections, and high culture, current St. Paul's students learn to succeed in a more diverse environment. To be the future leaders of a more democratic world, they must be at ease with everything from highbrow art to everyday life--from Beowulf to Jaws--and view hierarchies as ladders to scale.
Through deft portrayals of the relationships among students, faculty, and staff, Khan shows how members of the new elite face the opening of society while still preserving the advantages that allow them to rule.
Shamus Rahman Khan is associate professor of sociology at Columbia University. He is an alumnus and former faculty member of St. Paul’s School