Equalising Opportunities, Minimising Oppression

Book Cover - Equalising OpportunitiesBy Dylan Ronald Tomlinson.
ISBN 0 415 25087 0

This book identifies and reviews strategies developed to counter unfair discrimination in health and social care, in the period since the late 1980s. There are 11 chapters in the book written by a variety of academics and practitioners, and covers discrimination based on race, gender, age, disability and sexuality.

The book adds to the ever-present debate on the subject of equalities, and provides useful contextual material for any one wishing to research the subject. It also, very helpfully clarifies the distinctions between such concepts as anti-racist practice, anti-discriminatory practice and anti-oppressive practice.

Unfortunately however this is not a book for a wide audience. Whatever the intentions of the authors of this book, the language used in some (not all) of the chapters makes it a book for academic consumption only. While there is nothing wrong with that (I think the book will make a useful text for social care and other student) the language limits the readership of the book. I do think that when we write, we need to be aware that in equality terms, language and the way we chose to use it, can, and does have “unequalising” consequences, and can help to “maximise” rather than “minimise oppression”.

Ratna Dutt is director, Race Equality Unit.

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