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- Critical Social Justice
- Basic human rights
- Practicing social justice versus valuing social justice
- Critical social justice
- Critical theory approach
- Shared principles -6
- Hodja and the Foreigner
- Key concepts in social justice theory in parable
- - culturally based worldview
- - hold common assumptions that others share our worldview
- - we often assume that what we intend to communicate is what is received
- Chapter 1
- critical - intellectual skill of analysis and a body of scholarship
- critical thinking - thinking with complexity
- critical theory - scholarly approach exploring history, culture, and ideological lines of authority, that underlie social conditions
- Two dimensions of thinking critically about knowledge
- - determining social, political, and historical meaning to knowledge or facts
- - acquisition of knowledge that may challenge what we think about particular knowledge.
- -knowledge involves the understanding of the meaning given to information- what political investment is in the knowledge and who benefits
- - earth is flat idea, Columbus - but many cultures knew the world was not flat - why did Columbus succeed in convincing when others did not.
thinking critically - seek out knowledge about other societies and their contributions ie., indigenous, Islam, Indian. Question the social and historical context of why those other than European interpretations has been valued
Understanding that knowledge is socially constructed- idea that progress is the result of rational, objective, and value neutral process removed from the political agenda; a product of reason alone.
Picture that there is an objective truth, belongs to the West and can be universally applied.
Created to rationalize colonialism and exploitation of other lands in 15C.
Columbus was simply an explorer and tradesperson - ignores the political contribution
concept of dominant culture - starting of transatlantic slave culture and genocide of indigenous peoples.
current political investment - make America great? threat of immigration - middle east and meaning
ISIS - political perspective?
concept that if we do not believe in discrimination we do not engage in it.
Research that says otherwise - Dovidio, Glick, & Rudman, 2005; Greenwald & Krieger, 2006
Those that benefit from societal patterns of discrimination may be invested in not understanding the actual nature of discrimination
Thinking critically requires the ability to recognize and analyze how meaning (knowledge) is constructed and infused with ideology
i.e.., x level of English required by immigrants to practice safely in clinical setting.
- Brief overview of critical theory
- Refers to a body of scholarship that examines how society works, and is a tradition emerging in the early part of the 20 C from a group of scholars at the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, Germany - the Frankfurt school
Work guided by the thought that society should work towards the ideals of equality and betterment
Scholars from Frankfurt school: Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Jurgen Habermas, Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse- built others work
- Derived work from Frankfurt school:
- Emile Durkheim-questioned the infallibility of the scientific method (positivism)
- Karl Marx - social stratification
- Max Weber - capitalism and ideology
Positivism - importance of reason, principles of rational thought, infallibility of close observation and discovery of natural laws and principles governing life and society
Critical thought: developed in response - questions about whose rationality, whose presumed objective methods underlies scientific method
Social stratification: concept that social groups are relationally positioned and ranked into hierarchy of unequal values used to justify the unequal distribution of resources amongst groups.
Minoritized group: a social group devalued by society and given less access to resources. Devaluing encompasses how the group is represented and what degree of access to resources are granted, and how the unequal is rationalized- minoritized replaced the term minority to capture active dynamics in society and a signal that the status is not necessarily related to how many or few exist in society
- Continental school
- French - Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu, Jacques Lacan
1960's - merged into North American with antiwar, feminist, gay rights, Black power, indigenous peoples, and emerging social justice movements
rejected liberal humanism eventually in that the concept that people had ability to make free independent decisions maintained marginality by obscuring larger system of inequality. Start of politics of social justice
conservative backlash - scholars criticized as ideologues and still are to some degree
- Why theory matters
- how or why is theorizing - sometimes theory seems dense and abstract
Works to take problem out of local context into systemic context.
Collectivist countries, individualistic countries - different approaches
Awareness of our theoretical map can change behavior
- Knowledge Construction
- Social injustice is the claim that any knowledge is neutral and value free
Knowledge is socially constructed-means reflective of the values and attitudes of those that construct it.
Critical analyze whether something is objective
Self reflect on own social perspective and subjectivity
See, analyze and challenge ideological domination
In Western society positivism is deeply entrenched
Concept of positionality- key tool in analyzing knowledge construction
Knowledge is dependent on a complex web of cultural values, beliefs, experiences and social positions
James Banks (1996) scholar with significant contribution in this area.
Knowledge we create is influenced by our experiences within various social, economic and political systems. Thus who we are as knower is intimately connected to group socialization.
p 8 - 10
Five types of Knowledge:
- 1. Personal and cultural knowledge - explanations and interpretations from those in the home, community, family - socialization in family - eye contact, what is or is not talked about in public or privately
- 2. Popular Knowledge - facts, beliefs, and plot types within movies, TV, books - transfers knowledge implicitly and explicitly
- What neighborhoods are dangerous -the quiet neighborhood
- 3. Mainstream academic knowledge - concepts, paradigms, theories and explanations that make up traditional canon in behavioural and social sciences. Based on belief of objective truth and with right procedures can obtain the truth. ie., developmental theories
- 4. School knowedge - concepts and facts in textbooks- what is taught and what is omitted. Cannonized knowledge - knowledge approved or officially sanctioned.
- Standardized tests. Pedagogy (how we teach) plays a role
- Questioning school knowledge is penalized
- 5. Transformative academic knowledge- concepts and ideas that challenge mainstream academic knowledge and expand the canon. Perspective is to make society more just