|About the Book|
Somehow books I need to read have a way of randomly appearing in my life. I found out about Privilege, Power, and Difference from a church visitor and, thanks to the awesome San Francisco Library interlibrary loan service, started reading it as a summer project. While this book is denser and less readable than Tim Wise’s book White Like Me about white privilege, Allan Johnson’s theories provide an excellent foundation for thinking about all types of privilege (the flip side of oppression.) He describes how systems of oppression based on race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and disability status are prevalent in our society and the damage these systems cause. Johnson emphasizes that the American focus on individualism makes it harder to see and understand the dynamic between individuals and social systems. He explains why and how we deny the power of systems of privilege, why this trouble is everyone’s problem, and how we can work toward a more equal society by speaking out against oppression and promoting alternatives to the path of least resistance. I learned a lot from this book and strongly recommend it.