Blue Eyes Brown Eyes Experiment & Effects of Discrimination Questions – Excelsior Writers |
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This activity contain two parts. In order to receive full credit, you must complete both parts. View the material (video and article) in each part and answer the questions that follow. As you answer each question, consider the theoretical concepts discussed in the module readings. Do not just state your viewpoint, rather provide relevant details to support your findings and/or position.

Part A

Following the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, Jane Elliot struggled with how to teach the detrimental effects of discrimination to her 3rd grade class in rural Iowa. In 1970, she embarked on the Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes experiment, in which she hoped to instill in these young students a sense of the power of inequality and prejudice to hurt and divide. Footage of the experiment was first broadcast in 1970 as an ABC documentary, “The Eye of the Storm.” Later, in 1985 it aired as a Frontline episode entitled, “A Class Divided”, which included follow-up interviews with the grown children from Elliot’s 3rd grade class. After her teaching career, Jane Elliot became an anti-racism activist and a diversity educator. She continues to offer workshops and training sessions based on the early experiment.



Official full length Frontline documentary:


  1. What was your initial reaction to viewing the footage of this experiment?
  2. What values and ethical issues did the experiment express?
  3. Do you think it was an appropriate exercise for a 3rd grade class at that time in history? Would it still be appropriate today? Why or why not?

Part B

Later, in 1988, feminist scholar Peggy McIntosh published a controversial essay, White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences through Work on Women’s Studies. A shortened version, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, was published in 1989. In these articles, McIntosh outlines her understanding of the concept of privilege in her life in the 1970s and 1980s.



  1. What was your initial reaction to McIntosh’s list?
  2. Do you think this is an accurate reflection of privilege in society during the 1970s and 1980s? Do you think it is relevant and accurate today? Why or why not?
  3. Do you consider racism, sexism, and discrimination based on ethnicity or religion to be primarily individual based or systemic? Explain your answer.

Make a succinct connection to the textbook and use in-text citation, e.g. (MacKinnon & Fiala, 2018, p.__). This way, I can see where you made the connection and in what context. Put the textbook as a reference at the end of your post.

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