Objective: An initial exploration of the available conceptualizations of privilege in Aotearoa/New Zealand with the goal of developing a more in-depth qualitative study, incorporating kaupapa Maori and public health framings.
Design: Interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of key informants that span the academic, community development, health service provision, and activist sectors. Participants were selected from multiple networks for their expressed interest and insight into the concept of privilege and its importance to analyses of social justice.
Results: Six key themes emerged that include the invisibility of privilege; the weighting of different variables; individual vs group privilege; class; the active aspects of privilege; and links between privilege and Pakeha culture.
Conclusion: Participants' constructions of privilege emphasize the multifaceted complexity and discursive ambiguities of the ways in which the concept is utilized within our political economy to account for disparity and covertly reproduce the status quo of Pakeha advantage.