I’ve been looking for academic discourse regarding Maslow, and it doesn’t seem that there is a wide array of conversation in regards to the idea of Maslow’s Hierarchy born of white privilege? I am a tall white dude, and in studying in the dept of Comm in the mid 90s, I realized that Maslow always felt “hollow” or somewhat simplistic.

But now, a business dude in the every day world, it is only seemingly taught by high powered (white) CEOs, or self-help gurus, or the like. It felt like snake oil. Then I realized, our social conversations have grown into a new area of privilege, and there’s a philosophical awakening about the nature and existence of privilege, and how it manifests itself.

In that, Maslow suggests if you haven’t had your base needs met, you’re not going to be able to appreciate art, or create the meaningful self-awareness of actualization. It feels like the definition of white privilege to me, and sort of upends the efficacy of Maslow as an exercise.

I think it’s wholly dated, and I think it does a disservice to the complexity of life, even if meant to be a academic and rhetorical.

Here’s a few articles I’ve found, but I was wondering your thoughts in relation to the idea of privilege, and whether it negates Maslow completely, or it possibly needs simple updates?

Curious as to your thoughts!



there’s a reason why powerful white men love Maslow.



This is sums it up as a TL;DR –
This pyramid visually indicates scarcity and privilege. Only the few successful and/or chosen ones get authenticity, spontaneity or creativity.


But also, I think the entire white privilege thing is REALLY important to address… this black lives matter thing mentions it.


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