Families in Society
Dialogues can bring people together across social divides to develop mutual understanding, generate empathy, and challenge oppression. Yet, all too often, these conversations derail and merely reinforce rather than challenge the social divides they are designed to bridge. We piloted a brief small group program aimed at fostering dialogue about racism and other forms of oppression with 100 undergraduates. A thematic analysis of the resulting 37 group transcripts found that the critical dialogue process helped participants unpack the nature and complexity of oppression, deepen their understanding of privilege, and begin to share and challenge the experience of oppression itself. Sharing thoughts, feelings, and personal experiences, participants used the critical dialogue process to work together to disrupt oppression in their lives.
anti-oppression, anti-racism, equity issues, group work, human rights, qualitative research-thematic analysis, social justice
© The Author(s) 2022
Gockel, Annemarie; O’Neill, Peggy; and Pole, Nnamdi, "Social Justice Conversations: Using Critical Dialogue to Unpack Oppression" (2022). Psychology: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.