Some think that it is also in the best interests of those who are privileged to keep it among themselves, lest they lose it for all who are in their "bracket". For example, males in patriarchal societies benefit personally from favouring the continued oppression of women.
Privilege differentiates most people in what they eventually become. It can even affect one's levels of confidence and self belief. There are a few exceptions where an under-privileged person may break out of that social bracket due to sheer luck or massive determination and reach greater heights. However, for most, social construct remains a limiting factor in being successful.
My job has also given me an interesting vantage point to observe how the concept of privilege works and it is probably this which led me to this post. I would think that I come from a middle-class family (not entirely unfortunate, but had some struggles moving out of a lower social strata). My work in the capital city of Colombo has led me to associate with people who are mostly of a higher class society (established in this social class for several generations). My work in various projects involving community livelihood development has also led me to see people in lower social classes having greater struggles than the people of middle or higher social classes.
Taking myself as an example, and comparing myself to others, I am privileged in some aspects and under-privileged in others. On one hand, I've been fortunate to have a good education but on the other hand, I may fare worse than someone else with the same level of education but with a family network of established professionals in the same industry. It helps to have mentors who's walked the path and social networks that will help with opportunities. If I had no mentors or networks, though qualified and even capable, I may not have access to good opportunities.
Just the other day, I was having a chat with Drummer Boy's mother and the lady who helps us with housekeeping. Drummer Boy has an elder brother who's worked his way up to a good job through his sheer determination despite losing his father at a very young age. This has made it possible for him to support his family well, including his little brother's ambitions to become a fully fledged Kandyan Dancer (it is an honorable title, awarded to those who have completed many years of traditional dance under a respected teacher, and it is an expensive affair). Kumudu, our housekeeper, also has a grandson who's shown promising talent in traditional dance and he's even won 2nd place in a national-level competition once. However, this boy's father is a drug addict, alcoholic and the little boy is a constant witness to family fights and his mother and grandmother being beaten by their husbands. A few weeks ago, while coming home drunk at night in his three-wheeler, his father had driven off a ledge, onto the roof of a house. Though the man was unharmed (by a miracle), he has set himself backwards financially and without a means of earning his daily wage for awhile. So this little boy's ambitions, which are similar to Drummer Boy's, may sadly never materialise.