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Readings for Diversity and Social Justice

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For more than a decade, Readings for Diversity and Social Justice has been the trusted, leading anthology to cover the full range of social oppressions from a social justice standpoint. With full sections dedicated to racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and ableism, as well as transgender oppression, religious oppression, and adult and ageism, this bestselling text goes far beyond the range of traditional readers. New essay selections in each section of this third edition have been carefully chosen to keep topic coverage timely and readings accessible and engaging for students. The interactions among these topics are highlighted throughout to stress the interconnections among oppressions in everyday life.

Retaining the key features and organization that has made Readings for Diversity and Social Justice an indispensable text for teaching issues of social justice while simultaneously updating and expanding its coverage, this new edition features:

Over 20 new selections considering current topics and events such as immigration trends, racial profiling, student debt, Occupy Wall Street and global GLBT rights. An updated companion website with additional resources, including video clips that further complement the readings in each section. Strong and accessible section introductions to highlight key points and relate the essential concepts of any given topic to other forms of oppression. An explicit emphasis on the interconnectedness of social identity and social inequality throughout, with a secondtable of contents that notes the intersections among readings.

Offering over one-hundred and thirty selections from some of the foremost scholars in a wide range of fields, Readings for Diversity and Social Justice is the indispensible volume for every student, teacher, and social justice advocate.

These essays include writings from Cornel West, Michael Omi, Audre Lorde, Gloria Anzaldua and Michelle Fine. The essays address the multiplicity and scope of oppressions ranging from ableism to racism and other less-well known social aberrations.

658 pages, Paperback

First published August 13, 1999

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About the author

Maurianne Adams

14 books7 followers
Professor Emerita at UMass Amherst, Maurianne Adams (Ph.D.) is co-editor/chapter author of Teaching for diversity and social justice (2nd edition, 2007) and the companion volume of readings Readings for diversity and social justice (3rd edition, 2013). She co-edited Strangers and neighbors: Relations between Blacks and Jews in the United States (1999) and edited Promoting Diversity in the College Classroom (1992). She has authored encyclopedia and handbook segments on social justice and social justice education, and book chapters and articles on social justice pedagogy, inclusive teaching, religious oppression, antisemitism, and classism. She regularly presents on topics related to social justice and diversity faculty leadership and student development, and consults on social justice programming. Her current research focuses on social justice instructional outcomes, and on the histories of religious oppressions. Adams is editor for the education journal Equity & Excellence in Education.

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5 stars
288 (38%)
4 stars
257 (34%)
3 stars
128 (17%)
2 stars
36 (4%)
1 star
38 (5%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 46 reviews
Profile Image for Karime.
33 reviews7 followers
March 22, 2016
I would recommend this book to a person that does not know anything about people from other cultures, skin tone, religion or different lifestyles but yet is open to learn; whereas, if you're of the belief that just because the U.S. has a black president it means that racism is over, then you will struggle with this book constantly, and most likely you ignore how ANYBODY can be discriminated against based on body weight, age, religion, social class, your accent, etc. If you struggle, I would suggest that you quit, read the Spark Notes, pass your class, and maybe read it again 10 years later.

This book enables you to search deeper on why, for example, sometimes you just don't like SOME people, or SOME people just seem more rude than others, all those little interactions with people in your life that did not really have an explanation for, you did not quite know what that was called, or just something, somehow seems unjust on how your child was treated at school, I would say this is your book.
I never quite understood cultural appropriation or the institutional damage of stereotypes or labels until I read this.
This is not a book for those that can't take a walk in someone else's shoes.
Profile Image for Hugh.
Author 1 book3 followers
April 17, 2008
This is one of the more valuable books on my shelf. A wonderful collection of timely and relevant readings that everyone should spend some time pondering.
Profile Image for Tena Edlin.
788 reviews
January 10, 2023
Not an easy read on any possible level, but this textbook consistently took me out of my comfort zone and made me consider other points of view. This text was for a class that stretched me, challenged me, and made me take a hard look in the mirror. I can’t ask more from the doctoral experience than that.
Profile Image for Jordan.
355 reviews2 followers
September 8, 2013
Overall, a nice compilation of carefully chosen essays on Racism, Classism, Sexism, Heterosexism, Transgender Oppression, Ableism, and Ageism.

I still do not understand the nuances of the Context, Voices, and Next Steps sections; they all seem to be the same type of writing, and doing the same things? Is that just me? Whatever, I found the book to be informative and engaging, for the most part.

The last section of this book, on turning our newfound knowledge of privilege and oppression into social justice action, was rather underwhelming. I was hoping for more direct and concrete paths to social justice and community building, and not just a string of stale platitudes on how knowledge and conversation will save us all. Um, okay? I'm preparing for a career in Education, this is what I envisioned myself doing anyway. Taking these essays a few steps further and perhaps making them more specialized to classroom/workplace settings would have helped bucket loads, IMO.

Buy this title from Powell's Books.
Profile Image for Anna.
710 reviews7 followers
April 26, 2013
This was for a class and I don't think that anyone would be reading it straight through, but it tends to paint a picture of oppression where there is none if you do. While I know that oppression, racism, sexism and other isms exist, I find that its hard to read about it when I myself choose to move on and work with it or through it. Maybe that's me. Anyway this was for a class not by choice.
Profile Image for Madeline.
85 reviews
November 23, 2013
I had to read this for my freshman seminar class, and it was the most useless book I have ever read. It was worse than Animal Farm and 1964, both by George Orwell. I couldn't pay attention or focus for the entire book. Definitely the worst book I have ever read.
Profile Image for Andrew Benesh.
79 reviews3 followers
November 22, 2019
I really enjoyed teaching from this text. The division of context, voice, and action sections works well for orienting systems trained therapists to think about social justice issues. Some sections need more content explaining ideas (for example, the first reading on intersectionality goes from zero to "hegemony in the liberal state" in about 3 sentences), but the content is consistently good. Some students expressed frustration about the political content, but that's frankly necessary in a course about social justice.
Profile Image for Shirley.
23 reviews
October 24, 2008
Great collection.

The thing that always sticks out in my mind from this collection is the clear visual of breaking out of the norm mentally... the moment of awareness of the reality of oppression and the need for social justice.

Really comprehensive, covering stories from the key social identity groups.
Profile Image for Dayspring.
117 reviews
April 9, 2010
A must-have resource for social justice educators or anyone wishing to further their own understanding of oppression and privilege. The book is a collection of articles and book excerpts on a variety of topics related to diversity and social justice. Not exactly something you read cover-to-cover, but an excellent resource!
Profile Image for Lindsay Allyson.
399 reviews8 followers
May 21, 2016
Despite the topics being near to my heart, this was yet another textbook that was just too difficult to read and get through. Just because the information is interesting doesn't mean I want to pour over tiny text with nothing to break it up. Presentation is important, people.

Again, the professor didn't require us to actually read so I gave up on this one.
Profile Image for Ashley.
7 reviews
July 21, 2015
I really liked how each section was easy to read but also easy to relate to. The chapters were helpful in opening my eyes to things I would never be able to experience myself, and at the same time showing me what privilege really is. A really good read for my M.A. class!
Profile Image for Rachel.
35 reviews4 followers
December 13, 2015
Important, pertinent reading. Sometimes the sections feel repetitive, outdated, and/or missing some perspective, but the book definitely has important messages, as well as a lot of well-known and lesser-known activist voices, including bell hooks, Cornel West, & others.
Profile Image for Marissa.
2,002 reviews6 followers
May 2, 2011
Great essays and articles on a variety of topics including ableism, racism, sexism, anti-semitism, heterosexism, and classism. I find myself referring to it and recommending it often.
553 reviews
April 23, 2012
Had to read this for school and hated it. It shouldn't take a book this large to teach the Golden Rule. Quit being judgmental assholes, people! It's not hard!
39 reviews1 follower
January 25, 2014
First 15 articles I've read have all been excellent. I really like the topic matrix and overall format. Has become a great reference for equity and social justice topics.
Profile Image for Jen.
12 reviews2 followers
January 2, 2015
A thorough compilation on social justice issues. Newer editions have been updated to include transgender oppression and adultism. A must read and must own item for social justice educators.
Profile Image for Keri Grant.
4 reviews1 follower
April 2, 2019
There is no escaping the spotlight that lands in your lap as you read these stories. This book gives great insight and background to the struggles faced by many as our society continues to struggle with issues of racism, sexism, classism, ableism, etc. The more you know, the more you grow. If you pick this up, you assume responsibility to take action. "Silence always favors the oppressor."
Profile Image for Jennifer.
38 reviews
September 29, 2021
The reason why I am giving this book 2 stars is that, although the compilation of stories warrants a higher rating, the author's biased and opinionated filler/context/theory ensures that the reader will be either overly entranced from a rote sense, or turned off by the biased and bizarre sociological terminology.
Profile Image for Theresa.
1,022 reviews18 followers
September 4, 2019
I used her other book Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice in one of my Women's Studies classes at California State University, Sacramento. It's a wonderful book, very effective. This book is a great companion piece. It give the reader an excellent overview of the isms.
Profile Image for Josh Hart.
120 reviews6 followers
April 21, 2023
I read this book for my diversity in education class. This book had some really great essays and readings, some of which were topics I already knew about, and others were really eye-opening.Would highly recommend for anyone who is going to work in a school setting.
Profile Image for Cory Blystone.
Author 6 books3 followers
October 26, 2017
An amazing collection of articles and essays that call into question our collective social responsibilities towards one another as human beings.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 46 reviews

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