The aim of this paper is to propose an approach to social research which draws on a multidisciplinary methodology, which is anti-oppressive, and which is particularly valuable for people who are working and researching in the social, health and welfare professions. By ‘anti-oppressive’ I mean to imply an understanding of social life which regards social divisions as basic phenomena which condition our lives and thought, including not only class, gender and ‘race’, but also sexuality, disability and age. It is therefore important to explore alternative ways of conducting research which are not constrained by the dominant conventions. I have drawn on black feminist perspectives as a guide to anti-oppressive values and have attempted to describe and justify ‘Critical Life Histories’ as a research methodology which meets these criteria, and which is particularly relevant for the stated purposes.