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Becoming an Ally is a book for men who want to end sexism, white people who want to end racism, straight people who want to end heterosexism, able-bodied people who want to end ableism — for all people who recognize their privilege and want to move toward a more just world by learning to act as allies.
Has oppression always been with us, just part of “human nature”? What does individual healing have to do with social justice? What does social justice have to do with individual healing? Why do members of the same oppressed group fight one another, sometimes more viciously than they fight their oppressors? Why do some who experience oppression develop a life-long commitment to fighting oppression, while others turn around and oppress those with less power?
In this accessible and enlightening book, now in its third edition, Anne Bishop examines history, economic and political structures, and individual psychology in a search for the origins of racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, ageism and all the other forms of oppression that divide us. Becoming an Ally looks for paths to justice and lays out guidelines for becoming allies of oppressed peoples when we are in the privileged role.
A new chapter in this third edition offers a greatly expanded discussion of effective approaches to educating allies, which is meant for teachers of adults, particularly those who teach about diversity, equity and anti-oppression. In this chapter, Bishop examines the ways in which Western culture prevents us from recognizing our roles as members of privileged groups and explores how to challenge this with participatory exercises and group discussion.