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Neil Hibbert

This paper examines the prospects for social justice in a democratic community that is justified through the idea of contractual exchange as a cooperative scheme for mutual advantage. Common assumptions concerning the narrow institutional range of the mutual advantage framework are argued against, clearing away certain tensions between exchange and markets and equality and the welfare state. However, it is maintained that the principle of equality must further condition institutional formation beyond efficiency to satisfy the requirements of social justice. It is further advanced that the interest-based motivation in the idea of efficient exchange can be maintained in an egalitarian framework, when the shared interests and expectations of citizenship constitute an equal political baseline, from which universal social entitlement can be justified.

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Social Justice through Enterprises

The End of the 1972/1973 Conjuncture? A Legal Perspective

Hagen Henrÿ

The article begins with reported data on social and economic imbalances and their negative effects on sustainable development. The state, the social partners, and enterprises such as cooperatives formerly organized democratic participation as the central mechanism through which social justice regenerates. Globalization makes them inoperative. That is why we have to reconsider the role of enterprises in general. Their responsibilities under the Global Compact and similar measures are not sufficient, unless they are made legally binding and are complemented by laws that link their structure to the aspects of sustainable development. The article singles out cooperatives and points to their features being approximated through legislation with the features of capitalistic companies, which negatively affects their sustainable development performance. The article concludes with remarks on the challenges for legislators, not least the outdated notion of competitiveness and a radically changing concept of enterprise.

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Teppo Eskelinen

This article focuses in the allocation of financial risks from the viewpoint of social justice. In contemporary society, finance and the related risk allocation patterns have become highly important in determining the social positions of individuals. Yet it is somewhat unclear how ‘financial risks’ should be understood in normative theory and to what extent their allocation is a specific problem of justice. This article consists of a definition of this category and a typology of three different and distinctive perspectives to financial risks and social justice, out of which a synthesis is drawn. The contribution of the article is to propose a normative basis for a research programme on risks and justice in the society of high financialisation.

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Claudia Mitchell

As this issue of Girlhood Studies went to press, two very dramatic moments in the history of girls and young women were in the public eye. One was the large 8000-strong gathering of NGOs, researchers, politicians, and activists from 165 countries at the Women Deliver Global Summit on gender equality that took place in Vancouver, Canada, from 3 to 6 June 2019. There, according the program, the focus was on how power can both hinder and drive progress and change for a world that is more gender equal. On 3 June, the long-awaited report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) in Canada was released, with its 231 recommendations or calls for social justice to address what is now acknowledged as being part of what was (and continues to be) cultural genocide. Both the Global Summit and the report on MMIWG are reminders of the need for the blend of scholarship and activism that is so critical to advancing issues of equity and to implementing recommendations to achieve this. This unthemed issue with its broad range of geographic locations, concerns, and methods and its attention to activism, along with scholarship that features work from both the humanities and social sciences, is key in relation to mobilizing a social justice agenda.

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Speaking Out for Social Justice

The Problems and Possibilities of US Women's Prison and Jail Writing Workshops

Tobi Jacobi

Through community-based literacy work, writing teachers can encourage the development of prison narratives that counter social and media-driven stereotypes of prisoner identity. Such work thus situates writing workshops and other literacy-inspired programming for women as part of the emergent US prison abolition movement. This is a complicated equation to work through, however, given the sometimes competing sponsors of such literacy work and its reception within and beyond institutional contexts. This essay suggests that a nuanced reading of prison literacy programmes and their sponsors is necessary for contemporary educators interested in contributing to both educational prison programmes and the abolition movement. In order to explore such challenges and to illustrate individual and public tactics for emergent social justice, this essay offers sample texts and commentaries from the SpeakOut! women's writing workshop in the western US as a starting point for a larger consideration of the complexities that literacy educators confront when designing and facilitating such programmes.

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Borders and justice

A postscript

Mary Bosworth

In this piece I offer an overview of the theme section and reflect on the relationship between academic studies and social justice. By comparing anthropology with my home discipline of criminology, I point to some shared and distinct contributions practitioners in these fields can make to our understanding about border control. Without being too pessimistic, I warn about the limits of ‘humanizing’ research subjects as a means to bring about progressive change, and suggest instead, drawing on the work of the theme section, that more needs to be done alongside and with individuals and local communities.

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Vittorio Bufacchi

The principle of non-maleficence, primum non nocere, has deep roots in the history of moral philosophy, being endorsed by John Stuart Mill, W. D. Ross, H. L. A. Hart, Karl Popper and Bernard Gert. And yet, this principle is virtually absent from current debates on social justice. This article suggests that non-maleficence is more than a moral principle; it is also a principle of social justice. Part I looks at the origins of non-maleficence as a principle of ethics, and medical ethics in particular. Part II introduces the idea of non-maleficence as a principle of social justice. Parts III and IV define the principle of justice as non-maleficence in terms of its scope and coherence, while Part V argues that the motivation of not doing harm makes this principle an alternative to two well-established paradigms in the literature on social justice: justice as mutual advantage (David Gauthier) and justice as impartiality (Brian Barry).

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Sacred Spaces and Civic Action

Topographies of Pluralism in Russia

Melissa L. Caldwell

This article examines several key sites where Russia’s civic and religious bodies intersect in pursuit of social justice goals. Based on ethnographic fieldwork among religious communities and social justice organizations in Moscow, the article focuses on the physical, social, and legal spaces where church and state, secular and sacred, civic and personal intersect and the consequences of these intersections for how Russians understand new configurations of church and state, private and public, religious and political. Of particular concern is the emergence of new forms of religious and political pluralism that transcend any one particular space, such as for worship, community life, or political support or protest, and instead reveal shifting practices and ethics of social justice that are more pluralist, progressive, and tolerant than they may appear to be to outside observers.

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Workshop Scribbles, Policy Work and Impact

Anthropological Sensibilities in Praxis at an FASD Workshop

Michelle Stewart

This article reports on a workshop that was held with frontline workers in Canada and discusses the role of anthropological sensibilities as they inform research, community engagement and policy outcomes. The workshop brought together frontline workers to discuss foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, a complex and lifelong disability – one that often raises social-justice concerns. The goal was to facilitate a space in which participants could share their experiences and potentially bring about better outcomes for people living with this disability. The article focuses on the workshop in relationship to anthropological sensibilities, anchored in lateral research practices, with attention to poly-vocality and relational ways of understanding, all of which inform our practice and potential impacts. This article critically analyses the role of applied research as it is informed by other disciplines and concurrently constrained by different forces.

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Janet Marstine

In this article I explore how socially engaged artistic practice draws upon hybridity as a methodological approach advancing social justice. Through the case study of Theaster Gates’s To Speculate Darkly (2010), a project commissioned by the Chipstone Foundation of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and shown at the Milwaukee Art Museum, I consider how socially engaged practice mobilizes continually shifting notions of postcolonial hybridity to help museums make meaningful symbolic reparations toward equality and inclusivity. The research is based on interviews I conducted with Gates and with the director and the curator of the Chipstone Foundation. The article will demonstrate that, with hybridity, artists have the potential to subvert hegemonic power structures and to inspire reconciliations between museums and communities. While such reconciliations generally involve complex processes with no clear end point, the evolving concept of hybridity is an effective vehicle to foster pluralistic institutions, cultural organizations characterized by practices built upon shared authority, reciprocity, and mutual trust. Theaster Gates refers to the methodology of hybridity as ‘temple swapping’, an exchange of values between seemingly unlike groups, in his case the black church and the museum, to explore their interconnections and relational sensibilities. Temple swapping, I aim to show, is a valuable metaphor through which to examine socially engaged artistic practice and its implications for museum ethics.