This compilation of interdisciplinary and community voices addresses issues of globalization, democracy, human rights, and how universities can act to promote steps towards greater social justice. As a relational concept, definitions of social justice reflect beliefs, values and priorities - which are neither consensually shared in modern societies, nor among social scientists who study it. This situation makes the concept exceedingly pliable and subject to ideological utilization. What implications result from efforts to advance social justice beyond the present status quo? These issues are especially pertinent to academic workers, who have been under the same kind of pressures that the rest of society has experienced. The current moment also poses a range of questions that challenge the role of the university. Can it continue to play a major role in advancing social justice when it is under severe political and public pressure to spend less, and to show concrete 'deliverables'?
Jon Shefner is Professor and Head of Sociology at the University of Tennessee, USA, and previously taught at Tulane University, USA, and University of Innsbruck, Austria.
Harry F. Dahms is Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Center of the Study of Social Justice at the University of Tennessee, USA.
Asafa Jalata is Professor of Sociology, Global and Africana Studies at the University of Tennessee, USA.
Robert E. Jones is Associate Professor and Research Associate with the Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment and the Center for the Study of Social Justice at the University of Tennessee, USA.
1. Globalization and the University - A Path to Social Justice; Robert E. Jones and Jon Shefner2. From Domination to 'Buen Vivir': Latin America and Contested Globalization; Michael Handelsman3. Researching, Knowing, and Promoting Social Justice for Indigenous Americans; Asafa Jalata4. The Promise of International Law in Developing a Global Foundation for Social Justice; Robert Blitt5. The Goal of Gender Transformation in American Universities: Toward Social Justice for Women in the Academy; Barbara J. Risman and Timothy Adkin6. Climate Change, Intergenerational Justice and the University; John Nolt7. Social Justice, the University and the Temptation of Mission Creep; David Reidy8. Co-Constructing Democratic Knowledge for Social Justice: Lessons from an International Research Collaboration; John Gaventa and Felix Bivens9. The Role of Law School Clinics and Universities Social Justice Work; Benjamin Barton10. Social Justice Manifest: University-Community Outreach Research to Reduce Homelessness; David Patterson, Courtney Cronley, Stacia West, Jennifer West and Jennifer Lantz11. University Social Engagement as Space for Resistance to the Marketization of Higher Education Institutions: A Case Study from the United Kingdom; Felix Bivens12. Critical Engagement: Risk Reward and Methods in Teaching Social Justice; William V. Taylor, Ben Feldmeyer and Katie Morris13. Approaching Human Rights as a Cognitive Style in the College Classroom; Benjamin Gregg14. Teaching Spaces: A Critical Reflection on Using Spatial Exploration Exercises as Teaching Tools; Maria Stehle15. A New Popular Movement for Social Justice in the United States and Beyond; Frances Fox Piven and Jon Shefner16. Student Activism and the University: Resources, Challenges and Opportunities; Elizabeth A. East and Jayanni Webster17. Teaching (for) Social Justice/Organizing for Social Justice and the University; Walter Davis18. Real Utopias and the University: An Interview; Erik Olin Wright19. Barriers and Conduits to Social Justice - Universities in the Twenty-First Century; Harry F. Dahms and Eric R. Lybeck