Gender/diversity topics of
Johnson's presentation


Allan G. Johnson, author of "Privilege, Power and Difference" and "The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchical Legacy," will be a guest speaker at Elon University at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 in Whitley Auditorium.

Johnson's talk will tie to his book "The Gender Knot," which he explains on his personal web site:

"We are all living deep inside an oppressive legacy of social life organized around privilege, power, and difference. On some level, for example, most people know that gender is tied to a great deal of suffering and injustice, from discrimination and exclusion to violence and harassment to conflict between work and family roles. Millions of women are weary from the struggle simply to hang onto what's been gained; and many well-intentioned men do nothing because they can't see how to acknowledge what's going on without inviting guilt and blame simply for being male. The result is a knotted tangle of fear, anger, blame, defensiveness, guilt, pain, denial, ambivalence, and confusion. The more we pull at it, the tighter it gets.

"Unraveling the knot of privilege begins with getting clear about what privilege really is, about what it's got to do with each of us, and about how everyone can see themselves as part of the process of change toward something better.

"Based on more than 20 years of work, I try to chart a course organized around three questions:

1) What are we participating in and how are we choosing to participate in it?

2) How do typical ways of thinking about privilege blind us to what's going on?

3) What can we do to make a difference?"

Johnson is a writer, lecturer and teacher with more than 30 years of teaching experience. His books also include "The Forest and the Trees: Sociology as Life, Practice and Promise" (1997), and "The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology: A User's Guide to Sociological Language" (second edition 2000). New editions of "The Gender Knot" and "Privilege, Power and Difference" will be released in 2005.




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