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Privilege, Power, and Difference 2nd Edition

93 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0072874891
ISBN-10: 0072874899
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"It is one of the best texts I have read for introducing the concepts of privilege, power, and difference. . . It is an excellent work covering critically important ideas in an easily accessible style."  Amber E. Kinser  -- Feminist Teacher

Privilege, Power, and Difference is an outstanding discussion of how social systems work to perpetuate privilege, how individuals choose to interact with those systems, and how we can create positive change." Charles Dickey -- Leftunder Books

From the Back Cover

"Allan Johnson really understands how interlocking systems of oppression work and knows how to share his understanding in a way that will be immediately accessible to students at all levels. Privilege, Power, and Difference should serve as an invaluable tool for teaching about privilege and oppression."  Paula Rothenberg, author of Race, Class, and Gender

"In Privilege, Power, and Difference, Allan Johnson teaches us how to think critically about inequality and oppression without getting mired in guilt or despair. He gently but firmly removes the blinders that keep us from seeing our own privileges and how those privileges harm others. Then he shows us how to walk the talk and turn our beliefs in justice and equality into practice. This is a book that will change lives."  Michael Schwalbe, author of Unlocking the Iron Cage: The Men's Movement, Gender Politics, and American Culture.

"I adopted this very readable book and it has had a tremendous impact on my students.  Johnson explains the concept of privilege in ways that allow my students with privilege to hear and understand without getting defensive.  I recommend it highly for both college and high school students and the general adult population."  Jane Connor, SUNY

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 2nd edition (February 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0072874899
  • ISBN-13: 978-0072874891
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Allan G. Johnson is a nationally recognized writer, novelist, and public speaker who has worked on issues of privilege, oppression, and social inequality since receiving his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan in 1972. His nonfiction writing has been translated into several languages and excerpted in numerous anthologies. His novels, The First Thing and the Last and Nothing Left to Lose, come from a lifelong devotion to the art of writing coupled with a passionate commitment to understanding what it means to be a human being in a complex world full of unnecessary suffering. He shares his life with Nora L. Jamieson, a writer, healer, and gatherer of women. They live in the hills of northwestern Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 84 people found the following review helpful By M. Khalil Islam-zwart on October 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
When I first saw the title for this book, I thought it was going to be another of those books that make you feel sick and worthless once you get to the end. This couldn't have been further from the truth. Allen's book was engaging, gentle, but powerful. It was thorough in describing the impact of power and privilege in a way that can be felt and understood even by those who are not familiar with (or generally interested in) critical studies and sociology. I found this to be a text that I could engage with, but also one that I could share with those who had a hard time seeing the lines of power and how they impact all of our relationships in many different ways.
I highly recommend this book both to those who have worked with the material of oppression for a long time as well as for those who are struggling to understand what it's all about. The book is powerful and gentle at the same time - something that is very important when dealing with issues of oppression and equity.
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78 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Jane Connor on May 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
I adopted this very readable book as one of several required books for my Multicultural Psychology class and it has had a tremendous impact on my students. Johnson explains the concept of privilege, as it applies to race, gender and sexual orientation, in ways that allow my White students and other students with privilege to hear and understand without getting defensive. He desribes why change is difficult but not impossible, what we can all do to stop supporting "the system" and why we should. I recommend it highly for both college and high school students and the general adult population.
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47 of 55 people found the following review helpful By J. Kelly-Moore on July 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
As an instructor working in the Humanities, finding non-threatening ways to talk about privilege, whiteness, and/or racism is very challenging. As I read the negative reviews, I am even more aware of how difficult it is to get these ideas across without being accused of self-hatred, etc. In an effort to encourage positive self reflection on these complex issues, I have read many of the foundation works Dr. Johnson mentions. His recapituation of these ideas is indeed gentle. One of the best things he does is make it possible for individuals to recognize that, while they may have unearned entitlements in one area, they may not have them in another. In this way, it is possible for practically everyone to recognize the feeling of being an outsider and this can lead to a compassion and understanding that has NOTHING TO DO with guilt. This work can create a bridge. As an instructor in the area of cultural studies, I often must challenge individuals who believe feeling guilty is all they can do. It isn't. Dr. Johnson gives us actions that we as individuals can actually engage. BTW the chapter on Capitalism is elegant dynamite.

If you are open to the possibility that things can get better through a personal self-reflective understanding of our socio-economic location, read this book. If not, don't waste your time.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Hadley Lehman on March 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
I read this book filled with skepticism about what could be done about the problems of prejudice and injustice in our society. Johnson answered my every question and even pointed out ways that I fall short. He writes in a witty, conversational style, using many personal examples. I would recommend this book for absolutely anyone to read. Teachers: use this book in your classes. Mine did, and it has made a huge difference in my life.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Alexis on September 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
In this book, the author describes how the world works. It can all be summed up by this sentence in his book:

"The trouble that surrounds difference is really about privilege and power - the existence of privilege and the lopsided distribution of power that keeps it going."

Differences include, class, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability...and the list goes on.

If you like to educate yourself; if you crave an understanding of the way things work; if you love to read, get this book. You won't regret it. It's written beautifully; in a colloquial tone. I was going to take a nap, and as I lay in bed and started reading this, I couldn't fall asleep because I didn't want to stop reading. So go out there and get this book! I know you'll love it. I'm falling in love with this amazing sociologist. He's easily becoming a favorite. This book is changing my life already, and I guarantee it will change yours.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By timesteele on March 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
This was a required book for my philosophy class. Privilege, Power, and Difference is one of my favorite books, I loved it. The book has been very inspiring to me, I am a college student and also a journalist on the side, it has inspired me to speak out even more. This book challenges politically correctness and forces the reader to deal with ideologies that are crippling our culture. The book was ahead of its time in regards to the Occupy Wall Street movement as well. Everyone should be reading this book right now, it speaks right to the movement and to the current events that are unfolding. Highly Recommended and honest.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Eliza Bennet VINE VOICE on May 2, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Johnson clearly and thoughtfully explains privilege and power. He describes how many of us are benefiting from privilege, but don't realize it. He points out how we can change the systems that have created the differences. I found it easy to read and the information was fascinating.
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