Becoming an Ally

Breaking the Cycle of Oppression

Anne Bishop


This volume explores the origins of oppression. It asks: has oppression always been with us as a part of human nature? And what can we do to change it?
This book, published in Europe and USA for the first time, looks specifically at addressing oppression in people. By narrowing the focus, Anne Bishop again raises a number of questions concerning where oppression comes from. Has it always been with us as a part of ‘human nature’? What can we do to change it? What does individual healing have to do with the struggles for social justice? What does social justice have to do with individual healing? Why do members of oppressed groups fight each other, sometimes more viciously than their oppressor? Why do some who experience oppression develop a life-long commitment to fighting oppression, while others turn around and oppress others?

Author Bio

Anne Bishop is a community development worker and popular educator. She has also worked in the field of international development. For almost thirty years, she has been part of, and worked with, many groups struggling to achieve social justice.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Why Write a Book about Becoming an Ally?
  • 2. Step 1: Understanding Oppression - How did it Come About?
  • 3. Step 1: Understanding Oppression - How is it Held in Place?
  • 4. Step 1: Understanding Oppression - The Personal is Political
  • 5. Step 2: Understanding Different Oppressions
  • 6. Step 3: Consciousness and Healing 7. Step 4: Becoming a Worker in Your Own Liberation
  • 8. Step 5: Becoming an Ally
  • 9. Notes on Educating Allies
  • 10. Step 6: Maintaining Hope
  • Glossary


'A well argued, well researched, non-polemical but gentle and helpful book. Absorbing the topic is made that much easier by the comfortable and yet authoritative tone Anne Bishop uses. The book makes a good friend. It listens and teaches, and it urges courage and trust.'
Heather Haas Barclay, Ontario Association of Social Workers

'This book is a delight to read, its language simple and clear, its examples vivid, and its message profoundly useful. It's changed the way I look at my own oppression and the way I do social change work. I recommend it highly.'
Diana Ralph, Department Social Work at Carleton University

'This book has some very useful lists and concrete advice. We recommend reading it to absorb Bishop’s reflections.'
CLASS Action


Publication Date: 27 September 2002
192 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781842772256
Library Edition: 9781842772249

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