Browncast Ep 40: Wael Taji on the Topology of Privilege

Another BP Podcast is up. You can listen on LibsyniTunesSpotify,  and Stitcher. Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe at one of the links above.

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On this episode, I talk to Wael Taji, a graduate student in behavioral economics and neuroscience at Peking University, in China. Wael is from an ethnically European background but converted to Islam at one point, before becoming a Coptic Christian (listen to the podcast for details!).

We talk about privilege, race relations, or lack thereof, in modern China. Wael has been living in China for two years, and first visited in 2013. He offered his own views on the changes in China’s view of the world and its place geopolitically.

Wael also offers a pessimistic take on Western academia (his undergraduate background was as a student at Cambridge University). His comparative assessment of intellectual prospects in China and the West were published in Palladium Magazine.

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2 Replies to “Browncast Ep 40: Wael Taji on the Topology of Privilege”

  1. Learned a few things about China.

    I broadly agree with the Wael’s formulation of privilege, but let’s get real we are talking about a heuristic, not an absolute.

    The guest downplays White privilege in China quite a bit. The advantage white guys have in Asia is real, often hired by companies to go to events just because they are white.
    (https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2096341/white-people-wanted-peek-chinas-booming-rent-foreigner-industry)

    India is catching up as well…
    (https://qz.com/india/951652/i-almost-feel-like-a-god-from-dating-to-business-white-men-are-winning-in-india/)

    Africans get treated very poorly by comparison. African Americans are treated better, when people know they are American, and have niche appeal in dating for eg. with girls that are into Hip Hop. So there is nuance, and there are vectors of privilege.

    Yes white people get charged more to see the Taj Mahal, and street vendors will assume you are bad at negotiating price. But I mean we need to look at the extent, and frequency and cost/benefit of such interactions.

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