Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
Social Responsibility: M.S.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Keywords and Subject Headings
Social Justice, Social Theory, Social Change
Students entering postsecondary academic social justice programs are told they will gain the tools to become potent agents of social change. However, given the relative novelty of social justice as an academic field, there remains a lack of clarity about what exactly social justice encompasses. What principles of inquiry, theory, and practice unify social justice as an academic field? Is there a consistent, coherent conceptualization of social justice and social change agency among social justice faculty? Are there social-historical conditions that foster the development of social justice programs in universities? These questions guided this research project.
The evidence, based on analyses of social justice faculty syllabi, publications, reading lists, and interviews, suggests that academic social justice programs are rooted in a postmodern worldview that emphasizes fragmentation, identity, and solipsism. Furthermore, the development of academic social justice programs appears to be rooted in an adaptation by universities (or departments within universities) to neoliberal adjustments to the world economy by using social justice programs to capture market shares of students. The postmodern direction taken by faculty allows for subversive language and posturing without seriously disrupting the core antagonisms of capitalism.
Morey, Joshua A., "An Analysis of Academic Social Justice Programs at Five Midwestern Universities" (2017). Culminating Projects in Social Responsibility. 11.