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Undoing Privilege

For every group that is oppressed, one or more other groups are privileged in relation to it. In "Undoing Privilege", Bob Pease argues that privilege, as the other side of oppression, has been given insufficient attention in both critical theories and in the practices of social change. As a result, dominant groups have been allowed to reinforce their dominance. "Undoing Privilege" explores each of the main sites of privilege, from Western dominance, class elitism and white and patriarchal privilege to the less well examined sites of heterosexual and able-bodied privilege, examining the interconnections between them. The book's analysis points out that while the vast majority of people may be oppressed on at least one form of stratification, many are also privileged on another. Pease also demonstrates that members of privileged groups can develop a self-critical engagement with their own dominant position, and explores both the potential and the limitations of such individuals becoming allies against oppression and their own unearned privilege. This is an essential book for all of those who are concerned about developing theories and practices for a socially just world.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Part I: Theoretical and Conceptual Foundations 1. Oppression, Privilege and Relations of Domination 2. The Matrix and Social Dynamics of Privilege Part II: Intersecting Sites of Privilege 3. Western Dominance and Colonialism 4. Political Economy and Class Elitism 5. Gender Order and the Patriarchal Dividend 6. Racial Formations and White Supremacy 7. Institutionalised Heterosexuality and Hetero-privilege 8. Ableist Relations and the Embodiment of Privilege Part III: Undoing Privilege 9. Challenging the Reproduction of Privilege from Within

About the Author

Bob Pease is Chair of Social Work in the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University in Geelong, Australia.


This is a scholarly, well-written book that attempts to portray a refreshingly new viewpoint about challenging and confronting an unequal and unjust world order. The author's transparent sincerity, humility and acute awareness about one's privileged position are embedded throughout the narrative. He persuasively argues against all either/or positions related to each form of oppression/privilege such as class, race and gender and proposes a new intersectional theory of privilege. - Ravindra R.P., India 'The power of the powerful has long been recognised, and opposed, yet the holding of privilege, especially one's own, has been interrogated far less often. Undoing Privilege confronts major taken-for-granted dimensions of privilege: Western, class, gender, race, sexual, embodied. It also outlines ways to undo all this, in theory, practice and indeed activism - a huge task that makes for a very important book, written with brevity and humility.' - Jeff Hearn, Professor of Gender Studies (Critical Studies on Men), Linkoping University, Sweden, author of The Gender of Oppression, co-editor of Sex, Violence and the Body, and The Limits of Gendered Citizenship 'This landmark work takes our understanding of privilege to a new level, situating the concept firmly within sociological theories of race, class, gender, sexuality and ability. Should be essential reading for anyone committed to social justice.' - Abby Ferber, Director, The Matrix Center for the Advancement of Social Equity and Inclusion

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