Re: "social justice" vs "equality"

Carolyn Maria Vasques (
Fri, 3 Oct 1997 10:34:07 -0400 (EDT)

My understanding is that "social justice" has implications beyond schools.
Ensuring equal access and even returns to education may not lead to a
restructuring of social relationships (esp of power) outside schools (or
indeed, inside schools if equality means equal access to the dominant
groups' ways of doing things). Also, often emphases on "equality" focus on
those who have not had equality (ie, those of oppressed/marginalized
groups) rather than those who have, and what the role of
dominant/privileged groups is in bringing about equality. "Social justice
education" emphases teaching students and teachers (privileged and not)
about power relationships and empowering them to take action in and
outside schools to change those power relationships...That's my (brief)
take on things in the U.S. context. I'm actually exploring this
relationship between education and social justice in my disseration. A
recent book on social justice education (in the context of higher ed) is
_Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice_ Maurianne Adams et al (eds.)
Routledge, 1997. The first section deals with theoretical foundations and
frameworks of social justice education...Hope this helps.
Carolyn M. Vasques Scalera .
Doctoral Candidate .
Department of Sociology .
University of Michigan .
3012 LSA Building .
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1382 . .

On Wed, 1 Oct 1997, Elina Lahelma wrote:

> Dear edequity list members
> I am working with Tuula Gordon, Janet Holland and other
> colleagues on a project on 'Citizenship, difference and
> marginality in schools: with special reference to gender', and
> writing a book called Making Space: Citizenship and difference
> in schools.
> We are having trouble with the concepts of social justice and
> equality. We have noticed the following shift: social justice' is
> being used instead of equality'. We are interested in the
> implications of this. How is social justice' defined? Have we
> lost out by not using equality'? Is there anything wrong with
> equality'? Any ideas?
> With best regards
> Elina Lahelma
> Department of Education
> PO Box 39, 00014 University of Helsinki
> Finland

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