Motivating People from Privileged Groups to Support Social Justice
by Diane J. Goodman — 2000
One of the more challenging aspects of multicultural education is engaging people from dominant social groups (e.g., men, whites, heterosexuals) in promoting equity. This article presents a theoretical perspective for understanding what may motivate people from privileged groups to support diversity and social justice. The three main sources of motivation discussed are empathy, moral and spiritual values, and self-interest. The complexities and limitations of each are considered. A model is also proposed that broadens the conception of self-interest. Educational strategies are suggested to address these different sources of motivation. By better understanding what motivates someone to support diversity and equity, educators can more intentionally choose approaches that will engage individuals, and thus more effectively promote personal and institutional change.
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