In this chapter we examine the origins of anti-discriminatory practice (ADP) and anti-oppressive practice (AOP) in the radical social work of the 1970s, and how it has been developed by Dalrymple and Burke (2006), Thompson (2003) and Burke and Harrison (2009). The complicated nature of power is then discussed and the interplay between the various ‘-isms’ is examined. The implications for assessment are detailed, particularly the importance of negotiating perceptions and recognizing diversity. There follows a critical comment on the lack of an adequately agreed definition of what constitutes equality; the nature of knowledge; and the fluidity of social divisions which complicates anti-oppressive practice. The chapter concludes with suggestions on the basic elements of effective anti-oppressive practice, those which promote genuine partnerships in the assessment process.
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