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The Psychology of Oppression

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The Psychology of Oppression

SKU# 9780826178169

Author: E.J.R. David Ph.D., Annie O. Derthick PhD


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Written in an engaging and relatable manner, this book reviews the psychological theories and research on the topic of oppression—its evolution, its various forms, and its consequences. Painful historical examples and modern-day occurrences of oppression including mass incarceration, LGBTQ and transgender issues, police brutality, immigration reform, anti-Muslim sentiments, and systemic racism are explored. How oppression exists and operates on various levels, the mental and behavioral health consequences of oppression, and promising clinical and community programs to eradicate oppression are reviewed. The authors hope that by providing readers with a basic understanding of oppression, it will motivate them to combat bias to create a more just, harmonious, and healthy world.

Highlights include:

  • Introduces readers to the psychological theories and research on oppression whereas most other books focus on a sociological or ethnic studies perspective.
  • Introduces readers to the fundamentals of oppression—what it is, who experiences it, and where and when it has taken place.
  • Dissects the layers of oppression—how it is expressed blatantly or subtly and overtly or covertly.
  • Explores how oppression is manifested on different levels (including interpersonal, institutional/systemic, and internalized) for a deeper understanding.
  • Demonstrates how oppression influences peoples’ thoughts, attitudes, feelings, and behaviors, and how it influences peoples’ well-being and health.
  • Explores why certain people are discriminated against simply because of their race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality and the resulting psychological implications.
  • Highlights what researchers and service providers are doing to address oppression via encouraging community and clinical interventions.
  • Examines why oppression exists and has persisted throughout history and what it looks like today.
  • Recommends future psychological work on oppression across research, clinical, and community contexts.

Ideal as a text in upper-level undergraduate and beginning graduate courses on oppression, prejudice and discrimination, race relations, ethnic studies, ethnic and racial minorities, multicultural or cross-cultural psychology, multicultural counseling, diversity, women’s studies, LGBTQ studies, disability studies, and social justice taught in psychology, social work, and counseling. Behavioral and mental health providers in both clinical and community contexts will also appreciate this book.

Product Details 

  • Publication Date October 26, 2017
  • Page Count 216
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826178169
  • EISBN 9780826178176

About The Author(s) 

E. J. R. David, PhD is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He received his PhD in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. An Award-winning psychologist, in 2012 he received the APA’s Early Career Award in Research for Distinguished Contributions to the Field of Racial and Ethnic Minority Psychology, the Asian American Psychological Association’s Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in 2013, and the Alaska Psychological Association’s Cultural Humanitarian Award for Exemplary Service and Dedication to Diversity in 2014. A Fellow of the Asian American Psychological Association, Dr. David is also a contributor to Psychology Today, writing about the psychology of race, ethnicity, and culture.

Annie O. Derthick, Ph.D. earned her Ph.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Dr. Derthick is currently working on her post-doctoral licensure at a clinic for the uninsured and underserved, where she works with members of marginalized and disenfranchised communities utilizing a Liberation Psychotherapy framework to address the complex relationship between psychological well-being and a divisive, oppressive socio-political-historical-cultural-economic context for sexual and gender minority groups, immigrants and refugees, and individuals with limited English proficiency. Dr. Derthick is a frequently invited presenter, trainer, and workshop facilitator in academic and community settings.

Table of Contents 



1. Oppression 101: An Overview

2. Who We Be: Historically and Contemporarily Oppressed Social Groups

3. History Is Now! Historical and Contemporary Oppression

4. The Evolution of Oppression: From Blatant to Subtle, to Blatant Again?

5. The Three Is of Oppression: Interpersonal, Institutional, and Internalized

6. So What? Psychological and Mental Health Implications of Oppression

7. Why Is There Oppression? Social Psychological Theories on the Existence and Persistence of Oppression

8. Adopting a Social Justice Orientation: Addressing Oppression in the Clinical Context

9. Beyond Laboratories, Clinics, and Classrooms: Community Efforts to Address Oppression

10. Future Directions: Some Suggestions for the Continued Growth of Psychological Work on Oppression