THE ALLY GROUP

 ALLY THEORY

 

Theoretical Base and Background

 

(Modified by Brian C. Steinberg from Dr. Dorothy Riddle's (Tucson, Arizona Psychologist) Homophobia Scale, Griffin and Harro (1982/1997) and Cass (1979).  

 

 

 

RIDDLE’s HOMOPHOBIA SCALE

 

Repulsion--Pity--Tolerance--Acceptance--Support--Admiration--Appreciation--Nurturance--Celebration 

 

 

NEGATIVE LEVELS OF ATTITUDE-----------------------------------------POSITIVE LEVELS OF ATTITUDE

 

 

 

 

 

Repulsion- Anything not mainstream or different is seen as a crime against nature.  All of these are  sick, crazy, immoral, sinful, wicked, etc.  Anything is justified to change them: prison, hospitalization, negative behavioral therapy, violence, etc.

 

Pity- The majority and mainstream is preferred.  People who are different should be converted because they are wrong.  The should be pitied.

 

Tolerance- Anyone not in the majority or mainstream is just a phase of development that many people go through and most people grow out of. These people are less mature than the majority and should be treated with the protectiveness and indulgence one uses with a child.  These people should not be given positions of authority because they are still working through their adolescent behavior.

 

Acceptance- Still implies there is something to accept.  Characterized by such statements as "you're not a minority, you're a person" or "what you do is your own business" or "it's fine with me, just don't flaunt it."

 

Support- Work to safeguard the rights of all people. People at this level may be uncomfortable themselves but they are aware of the oppressive climate and irrational unfairness.

 

Admiration- Acknowledges that being different and non-mainstream in our society takes strength. People at this level are willing to truly examine their bias attitudes, values, and behaviors.

 

Appreciation- Value the diversity of people and see minorities as a valid part of that diversity.  These people are willing to combat discrimination in oppression in themselves and others.

 

Nurturance- Assumes that minorities people are indispensable in our society. They view minorities with genuine affection and delight, and are willing to be allies and advocates.

 

Celebration- The last, final, and most powerful stage in diversity education.  At this final stage one celebrates everyone and everything.  All human characteristics, conditions, and circumstances are celebrated.

 


Griffin and Harro's Attitude Continuum (1982/1997):

Beyond Tolerance: Towards Understanding, Appreciation and Celebration 
  
 

 

 Negatively Participating

 ↓

Denying or Ignoring

↓ 

Recognizing but no Action

↓ 

Recognizing and Interrupting

 ↓

Educating Self 

 ↓

Questioning and Dialoguing

 ↓

Supporting and Encouraging

 ↓

Initiating and Preventing 

 

 

NEGATIVE LEVELS OF RESPONSE--------POSITIVE LEVELS OF RESPONSE

 

 

Negatively Participating- This stage of response includes actions that directly supports discrimination and oppression of all human characteristics, circumstances, and conditions.  These actions include laughing at or telling jokes that put down all people, making fun of people who don't fit in the traditional majority, and engaging in verbal or physical harassment.  It also includes working for anti-discrimination legislation (i.e. vote against gay unions, gender equality, sexual harassment, etc.)

 

Denying or Ignoring- This stage of response includes inaction that supports oppression coupled with an unwillingness or inability to understand the effects of discriminating actions. This stage is characterized by a "business as usual" attitude. Though responses in this stage are not actively and directly oppressive or discrimatory, the passive acceptance of these actions by others serves to support the system of oppression.

 

Recognizing, But No Action- This stage of response is characterized by a recognition of oppressive and discrimatory actions and the harmful effects of these actions. However, this recognition does not result in action to interrupt the oppressive situation. Taking action is prevented by the individual phobia, ism or a lack of knowledge about specific actions to take. This stage of response is accompanied by discomfort due to the lack of congruence between recognizing discrimination and oppression yet failing to act on this recognition. An example of this stage of response is a person hearing a friend tell a racial, homophobic, or discrimatory joke, recognizing that it is oppressive, not laughing at the joke, but saying nothing to the friend about the joke.

 

Recognizing and Interrupting- This stage of response includes not only recognizing discrimatory and oppressive actions, but also taking action to stop them. Though the response goes no further than stopping, this stage is often an important transition from passively accepting oppressive actions to actively choosing anti-oppressive and anti-discrimatory actions. In this stage a person hearing a racial, homophobic, or discrimatory joke would not laugh and would tell the joke teller that jokes that put down minority human conditions, characteristics, and conditions are not funny.  Another example would be a person who realized that s/he is avoiding an activity because others might think s/he is a vegetarian, a member of the green or reform political party, have a disability, Asian, Jewish, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, etc. if s/he participates in it, and then decides to participate.

 

Educating Self- This stage of response includes taking action to learn more about all human characteristics, conditions, and circumstances (i.e. Hispanics, Italians, republicans, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender individuals, phobias, and isms. These actions can include reading books, attending workshops, talking to others, joining organizations, listening to diverse music, or any other actions that can increase awareness and knowledge. This stage is also a prerequisite for the last three stages. All three involve interactions with others about all phobias and isms.  In order to do this confidently and comfortably, people need first to learn more.

 

Questioning and Dialoguing- This stage of response is an attempt to begin educating others about phobias and isms. This stages goes beyond interrupting oppressive and discrimatory interactions to engage people in dialogue about these issues. Through the use of questions, and dialogue, this response attempts to help others increase their awareness of and knowledge about phobias and isms.

 

Supporting and Encouraging- This stage of response includes actions that support and encourage the anti-phobic and anti-ism actions of others. Overcoming the phobias that keeps people from interrupting this form of oppression even when they are offended by it is difficult.  Supporting and encouraging others who are able to take this risk is an important part of reinforcing anti-phobic and anti-ism behavior.

 

Initiating and Preventing- This stage of response includes actions that actively anticipate and identify oppressive institutional practices or individual actions and working to change them.  Examples include administrators changing policies that discriminate and oppress others, or inviting a speaker to come and discuss how to prevent phobias, isms, oppression, and discrimination.

 


 

CASS’s MODEL OF HOMOSEXUAL IDENTITY DEVELOPMENT 
 

 

 

 Identity Confusion

 ↓

Identity Comparison

 ↓

Identity Tolerance

↓ 

Identity Acceptance

 ↓

Identity Pride

↓ 

Identity Synthesis 

 

 

  

POSITIVE LEVELS OF COMING OUT-----POSITIVE LEVELS OF COMING OUT

 

Identity Confusion- Sees self as member on mainstream group. Denial of inner feelings.

Who am I?  Am I different?

 

Identity Comparison- Begin to come out of the "fog.'

Maybe I am different.   I'm alone. 
What are people like me like?

 

Identity Tolerance- Encounter someone or something that breaks through the denial system.

I accept the possibility that I may be different. 
Where are other different people like me?

 

Identity Acceptance- Exploring subculture activities, readings, etc.

I am different.  Am I okay? I can come out to some people.

 

Identity Pride- Feel arrogance/pride in new identity and deep rage toward majority culture. May adopt/heighten stereotypical behaviors or characteristics (i.e. "I'm different and proud of it!". May isolate self from mainstream values and activities.

I am proud to be different. 
I don't (and won't) pass for being the normal status quo.

 

Identity Synthesis- Acceptance and integration of new identity. May go through five stages of grief to let go of old identity and all advantages of privilege. Internalize pride/positive feelings about identity. Typically is "out" (with friends, family, at work). More at peace with self.

I am an okay person who happens to be different than everyone else. 
 

Different= Gay, Lesbian, Transgendered, Transexual, Jewish, Vegetarian, Member of the Green Party or Reform Party, Have a Disability, etc. 
 

1. At what level are most of the people you educate? 
2. At what level are you now? 
3. At what level would you like to be? 
4. At what level is the organization for which you work? 
 

 

The moral of the story here is to aim for celebration, initiating and preventing, and identity synethesis.  This is very evident in the Residence Life Profession.

 

One of the best displays of this celebration stage in Residence Life can be displayed in The Office of Residential Life Celebration Statement at Wesleyan University. 

 

 

References:

 

Adams, M., Bell, L.A., & Griffin, P. (Eds.). (1997). Teaching for diversity and social justice. Routledge: New York, pp. 89-90. 

Adams, M., Bell, L.A., & Griffin, P. (Eds.). (1997). Teaching for diversity and social justice. Routledge: New York, pp.Cass, V. C. (1979). Homosexual identity formation: A theoretical mode. Journal of Homosexuality, 9(2-3), 105-126.

 

Riddle, D. (1996). Riddle homophobia scale. In M. Adams, P. Brigham, P. Dalpes & L. Marchesani (Eds.), Social diversity and social justice: Gay, lesbian and bisexual oppression (p 31). Dubuque, IA Kendall/Hunt Publishing.

http://www.wesleyan.edu/reslife/celebration_statement.htm

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

The residential halls, apartments, and houses of Wesleyan University are a place where we celebrate the uniqueness and dignity inherent in each one of us, no matter our race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, class, ability, or age.

 

The mission of Residential Living at Wesleyan calls for us to stand up and speak out for social justice, empowerment, respect, and acceptance of all people.  We will promote a community that is free from harassment, where differences are celebrated, and independent opinions are supported and respected.  However, when these opinions hurt and/or threaten others, we will act swiftly to ensure the safety and well being of the community.

 

Please join us in creating an environment at Wesleyan in which everyone can feel comfortable and accepted.

 

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

 

 

 

 
 

The residential halls, apartments, and houses of Wesleyan University are a place where we celebrate the uniqueness and dignity inherent in each one of us, no matter our race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, class, ability, or age.

The mission of Residential Living at Wesleyan calls for us to stand up and speak out for social justice, empowerment, respect, and acceptance of all people.  We will promote a community that is free from harassment, where differences are celebrated, and independent opinions are supported and respected.  However, when these opinions hurt and/or threaten others, we will act swiftly to ensure the safety and well being of the community.

Please join us in creating an environment at Wesleyan in which everyone can feel comfortable and accepted.

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!