In her groundbreaking Affective Intellectuals and the Space of Catastrophe in the Americas, Judith Sierra-Rivera studies five different contexts of crisis: natural disasters in Mexico, forced displacements between Central America and the United States, a whitewashed transition to democracy in Chile, colonialism and wars in Puerto Rico, and racism and patriarchy in Cuba. All of these scenarios share the common ground of the neoliberal space of catastrophe, which also generates new groups and forms of resistance. Affective Intellectuals argues that a new kind of intellectual emerges from these contemporary configurations to speak and act guided by the stories and desires of those who have been systematically pushed out of the public sphere: indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, immigrants, LGBTQ sexualities, and inhabitants of poverty.
Pursuing this argument, Sierra-Rivera examines print, radio, and web materials by authors whose emotional discourses have also had a measurable impact on the formation of communities that demand their full political inclusion in society. This book therefore fills a significant gap in the study of the relationship between materiality (space and bodies), emotions, and the political imagination. Affective Intellectuals demonstrates that writers and intellectuals themselves are vital in reshaping their communities and fighting for social justice in the Hemispheric Americas.
Affirmative action programs have significantly changed American medicine for the better, not only in medical school admissions and access to postgraduate training but also in bringing a higher quality of health care to all people. James L. Curtis approaches this important transition from historical, statistical, and personal perspectives. He tells how over the course of his medical education and career as a psychiatrist and professor--often as the first or only African American in his cohort--the status of minorities in the medical professions grew from a tiny percentage to a far more equitable representation of the American population.
Advancing arguments from his earlier book, Blacks, Medical Schools, and Society, Curtis evaluates the outcomes of affirmative action efforts over the past thirty years. He describes formidable barriers to minority access to medical-education opportunities and the resulting problems faced by minority patients in receiving medical treatment. His progress report includes a review of two thousand minority students admitted to U.S. medical schools in 1969, following them through graduation and their careers, comparing them with the careers of two thousand of their nonminority peers. These samples provide an important look at medical schools that, while heralding dramatic progress in physician education and training opportunity, indicates much room for further improvement.
A basic hurdle continues to face African Americans and other minorities who are still confined to segregated neighborhoods and inferior school systems that stifle full scholastic development. Curtis urges us as a nation to develop all our human resources through an expansion of affirmative action programs, thus improving health care for everyone.
James L. Curtis is Clinical Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Archives and Justice
Verne Harris Society of American Archivists, 2007 Library of Congress CD2451.H36 2007 | Dewey Decimal 027.0968
ARCHIVES AND JUSTICE: A SOUTH AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE is collection of Verne Harris's best writing during the first decade of South Africa's post-apartheid democracy. Harris is the project director of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in Johannesburg. While South Africa is his immediate context, Harris always engages wider geographical and conceptual worlds.
The volume is organized into five sections. "Discourses" illuminates Harris's engagement with writings and discussions related to archives. "Narratives," the second section, "explores the stories that archivists tell in certain domains of professional work-appraisal, electronic recordmaking, and arrangement and description." The third and fourth sections, "Politics and Ethics" and "Pasts and Secrets," recount and reflect on events and issues with which Harris has wrestled as a South African archivist. The op-eds contained in the final section, "Actualities," provide evidence of Harris's "deliberate endeavors to bring awareness of archive to popular debates in South Africa."
Drawing on the energies of Derridean deconstruction, Harris suggests an ethics, and a politics, expressed in the maxim "memory for justice." And he portrays the work of archives as a work of critical importance to the building of democracy.
In the West, "the Left," understood as a loose conglomeration of interests centered around the goal of a fairer and more equal society, still struggles to make its voice heard and its influence felt, even amid an overwhelming global recession. In Arts of the Political: New Openings for the Left, Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift argue that only by broadening the domain of what is considered political and what can be made into politics will the Left be able to respond forcefully to injustice and inequality. In particular, the Left requires a more imaginative and experimental approach to the politics of creating a better society. The authors propose three political arts that they consider crucial to transforming the Left: boosting invention, leveraging organization, and mobilizing affect. They maintain that successful Left political movements tend to surpass traditional notions of politics and open up political agency to these kinds of considerations. In other words, rather than providing another blueprint for the future, Amin and Thrift concentrate their attention on a more modest examination of the conduct of politics itself and the ways that it can be made more effective.
The story of Ava Helen Pauling—her rich career as an activist first for civil rights and liberties, then against nuclear testing, and finally for peace, feminism, and environmental stewardship—is best told in the context of her enduring partnership with her famous husband, Linus Pauling. In this long-awaited first biography of Ava Helen Pauling, Mina Carson reveals the complex and fascinating history behind one of the great love stories of the twentieth century.
Though she began her public career in the shadow of her spouse, Ava Helen soon found herself tugged between her ardor to support Linus in his career and her desire that he embrace the social and political causes she felt passionate about. She believed it was her destiny to accept duties as a mother and homemaker, but neither of those roles was fully satisfying. Her more complete identity emerged over decades, as she evolved as an influential activist.
Ava Helen Pauling’s story is significant because so many aspects of it were shared with countless American women of her generation and the generations surrounding her. They had new educational opportunities but were expected to conform to the same limited social roles dictated by the gender ideology of the nineteenth century. When second wave feminism erupted in the 1960s, its force did not come solely from the young women rebelling against their elders’ rules and limitations, but also from the frustrated dreams of those elders themselves.
Ava Helen did not experience overt oppression by her husband or community; she even asserted some very non-feminist positions as a young woman. This, combined with a structural lack of opportunity, contributed to the strength and persistence of role expectations in her life. At the same time, she was feisty and willful. Her personality both created her marital loyalty and eventually took her down an openly feminist path.
Ava Helen Pauling: Partner, Activist, Visionary is an important complement to writings about Linus Pauling and a welcome addition to the literature on women’s and family history. It will also appeal to students and scholars of peace and reform movements and the social history of science.
The election of America’s first black president has led many to believe that race is no longer a real obstacle to success and that remaining racial inequality stems largely from the failure of minority groups to take personal responsibility for seeking out opportunities. Often this argument is made in the name of the long tradition of self-reliance and American individualism. In Awakening to Race, Jack Turner upends this view, arguing that it expresses not a deep commitment to the values of individualism, but a narrow understanding of them.
Drawing on the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, Ralph Ellison, and James Baldwin, Turner offers an original reconstruction of democratic individualism in American thought. All these thinkers, he shows, held that personal responsibility entails a refusal to be complicit in injustice and a duty to combat the conditions and structures that support it. At a time when individualism is invoked as a reason for inaction, Turner makes the individualist tradition the basis of a bold and impassioned case for race consciousness—consciousness of the ways that race continues to constrain opportunity in America. Turner’s “new individualism” becomes the grounds for concerted public action against racial injustice.
Bruce Robbins Duke University Press, 2017 Library of Congress BJ1475.3.R633 2017
From iPhones and clothing to jewelry and food, the products those of us in the developed world consume and enjoy exist only through the labor and suffering of countless others. In his new book Bruce Robbins examines the implications of this dynamic for humanitarianism and social justice. He locates the figure of the "beneficiary" in the history of humanitarian thought, which asks the prosperous to help the poor without requiring them to recognize their causal role in the creation of the abhorrent conditions they seek to remedy. Tracing how the beneficiary has manifested itself in the work of George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, Jamaica Kincaid, Naomi Klein, and others, Robbins uncovers a hidden tradition of economic cosmopolitanism. There are no easy answers to the question of how to confront systematic inequality on a global scale. But the first step, Robbins suggests, is to acknowledge that we are, in fact, beneficiaries.
The Borders of Justice
Etienne Balibar Temple University Press, 2013 Library of Congress JC578.B63 2012 | Dewey Decimal 320.011
International in scope and featuring a diverse group of contributors, The Borders of Justice investigates the complexities of transitional justice that emerge from its “social embeddedness.” This original and provocative collection of essays, which stem from a collective research program on social justice undertaken by the Calcutta Research Group, confronts the concept and practices of justice. The editors and contributors question the relationship between geography, methodology, and justice—how and why justice is meted out differently in different places.
Expanding on Michael Walzer's idea of the “spheres of justice,” the contributors argue that justice is burdened with our notions of social realities and expectations, in addition to the influence of money, law, and government. Chapters provide close readings of Pascal, Plato and Marx, theories on global justice, the relationship between liberalism and multiculturalism, struggles of social injustice, and how and where we draw the borders of justice.
From all sides we hear that Americans are becoming increasingly self-absorbed and disconnected, and that our interest in social and civic responsibility is on the decline. A more encouraging profile emerges in this study of Americans at work, at home with their families, and in their communities. The book is based on a national, representative survey of more than 3,000 Americans aged 25 to 74—plus in-depth interviews with adults drawn from the survey—to find out what Americans mean by social responsibility.
The book explores the extent to which adults contribute time to caregiving, social support, and financial assistance to family members; the time given to volunteer work and financial contributions to various causes, charities, and organizations; and how these contributions are affected by job obligations. A major focus is on age and gender differences, which shows midlife to be a transitional time when civic activities increase as family obligations decline. All told, the study adds a hopeful new voice to the overwhelmingly negative debate about the current state of our civic and social lives.
The Mexican and Chicana/o residents of San Diego have a long, complicated, and rich history that has been largely ignored. This collection of essays shows how the Spanish-speaking people of this border city have created their own cultural spaces. Sensitive to issues of gender—and paying special attention to political, economic, and cultural figures and events—the contributors explore what is unique about San Diego’s Mexican American history.
In chronologically ordered chapters, scholars discuss how Mexican and Chicana/o people have resisted and accommodated the increasingly Anglo-oriented culture of the region. The book’s early chapters recount the historical origins of San Diego and its development through the mid-nineteenth century, describe the “American colonization” that followed, and include examples of Latino resistance that span the twentieth century—from early workers’ strikes to the United Farm Workers movement of the 1960s. Later chapters trace the Chicana/o Movement in the community and in the arts; the struggle against the gentrification of the barrio; and the growth of community organizing (especially around immigrants’ rights) from the perspective of a community organizer.
To tell this sweeping story, the contributors use a variety of approaches. Testimonios retell individual lives, ethnographies relate the stories of communities, and historical narratives uncover what has previously been ignored or discounted. The result is a unique portrait of a marginalized population that has played an important but neglected role in the development of a major American border city.
Across the U.S. immigrants, laborers, domestic workers, low-income tenants, indigenous communities, and people experiencing homelessness are conducting research to fight for justice. Collaborating for Change: A Participatory Action Research Casebook documents the stories of a dozen community-based research projects. Academics and their partners share authorship about the importance of gathering credible evidence, both for organizing and persuading. The emphasis is on community organizations involved in struggles for equality and justice. Research projects directly engage community partners in all phases of the research process. Finally, the stories capture how the research changes the roles of researchers and those being researched. The book is designed for students, but also for community organizers, social justice activists, and their research allies; it offers real stories and real projects that show how democratizing research supports social change and heightens our understanding of complex social issues.
Processes of fighting unequal citizenship have historically prioritized literacy education, through which people envision universal first-class citizenship and devise practical methods for enacting this vision. In this important volume, literacy scholar Paul Feigenbaum explores how literacy education can facilitate activism in contemporary contexts in which underserved populations often remain consigned to second-class status despite official guarantees of equal citizenship. By conceiving of education as, in part, a process of understanding and grappling with adaptive and activist rhetorics, Feigenbaum explains, educators can direct people’s imaginations toward activism without running up against the conceptual problems so many scholars associate with critical pedagogy. Over time, this model of education expands people’s imaginations about what it means to be a good citizen, facilitates increased civic participation, and encourages collective destabilization of, rather than adaptation to, the structural inequalities of mainstream civic institutions. Feigenbaum offers detailed analyses of various locations and time periods inside, outside, and across the walls of formal education, including the Citizenship Schools and Freedom Schools rooted in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s; the Algebra Project, a current practical-literacy network; and the Imagination Federation, a South Florida–based Earth-Literacy network. Considering both the history and the future of community literacy, Collaborative Imagination offers educators a powerful mechanism for promoting activism through their teaching and scholarship, while providing practical ideas for greater civic engagement among students.
American students vary in educational achievement, but white students in general typically have better test scores and grades than black students. Why is this the case, and what can school leaders do about it? In The Color of Mind, Derrick Darby and John L. Rury answer these pressing questions and show that we cannot make further progress in closing the achievement gap until we understand its racist origins.
Telling the story of what they call the Color of Mind—the idea that there are racial differences in intelligence, character, and behavior—they show how philosophers, such as David Hume and Immanuel Kant, and American statesman Thomas Jefferson, contributed to the construction of this pernicious idea, how it influenced the nature of schooling and student achievement, and how voices of dissent such as Frederick Douglass, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and W. E. B. Du Bois debunked the Color of Mind and worked to undo its adverse impacts.
Rejecting the view that racial differences in educational achievement are a product of innate or cultural differences, Darby and Rury uncover the historical interplay between ideas about race and American schooling, to show clearly that the racial achievement gap has been socially and institutionally constructed. School leaders striving to bring justice and dignity to American schools today must work to root out the systemic manifestations of these ideas within schools, while still doing what they can to mitigate the negative effects of poverty, segregation, inequality, and other external factors that adversely affect student achievement. While we cannot expect schools alone to solve these vexing social problems, we must demand that they address the dignitary injustices associated with how we track, discipline, and deal with special education that reinforce long-standing racist ideas. That is the only way to expel the Color of Mind from schools, close the racial achievement gap, and afford all children the dignity they deserve.
Martha C. Nussbaum Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress HM671.N868 2011 | Dewey Decimal 303.372
This is a primer on the Capabilities Approach, Martha Nussbaum’s innovative model for assessing human progress. She argues that much humanitarian policy today violates basic human values; instead, she offers a unique means of redirecting government and development policy toward helping each of us lead a full and creative life.
In Indigenous America, human rights and justice take on added significance. The special legal status of Native Americans and the highly complex jurisdictional issues resulting from colonial ideologies have become deeply embedded into federal law and policy. Nevertheless, Indigenous people in the United States are often invisible in discussions of criminal and social justice.
Crime and Social Justice in Indian Country calls to attention the need for culturally appropriate research protocols and critical discussions of social and criminal justice in Indian Country. The contributors come from the growing wave of Native American as well as non-Indigenous scholars who employ these methods. They reflect on issues in three key areas: crime, social justice, and community responses to crime and justice issues. Topics include stalking, involuntary sterilization of Indigenous women, border-town violence, Indian gaming, child welfare, and juvenile justice. These issues are all rooted in colonization; however, the contributors demonstrate how Indigenous communities are finding their own solutions for social justice, sovereignty, and self-determination.
Thanks to its focus on community responses that exemplify Indigenous resilience, persistence, and innovation, this volume will be valuable to those on the ground working with Indigenous communities in public and legal arenas, as well as scholars and students. Crime and Social Justice in Indian Country shows the way forward for meaningful inclusions of Indigenous peoples in their own justice initiatives.
William G. Archambeault
Cheryl Redhorse Bennett
Danielle V. Hiraldo
Lomayumptewa K. Ishii
Marianne O. Nielsen
Linda M. Robyn
Daniel A. Rudd, born a slave in Bardstown, Kentucky, grew up to achieve much in the years following the Civil War. His Catholic faith, passion for activism, and talent for writing led him to increasingly influential positions in many places. One of his important early accomplishments was the publication of the American Catholic Tribune, which Rudd referred to as "the only Catholic journal owned and published by colored men." At its zenith, the Tribune, run out of Detroit and Cincinnati, where Rudd lived, had ten thousand subscribers, making it one of the most successful black newspapers in the country. Rudd was also active in the leadership of the Afro-American Press Association, and he was a founding member of the Catholic Press Association. By 1889, Rudd was one of the nation's best-known black Catholics. His work was endorsed by a number of high-ranking church officials in Europe as well as in the United States, and he was one of the founders of the Lay Catholic Congress movement. Later, his travels took him to Bolivar County, Mississippi, and eventually on to Forrest City, Arkansas, where he worked for the well-known black farmer and businessperson, Scott Bond, and eventually co-wrote Bond's biography.
Why do American ghettos persist? Scholars and commentators often identify some factor—such as single motherhood, joblessness, or violent street crime—as the key to solving the problem and recommend policies accordingly. But, Tommie Shelby argues, these attempts to “fix” ghettos or “help” their poor inhabitants ignore fundamental questions of justice and fail to see the urban poor as moral agents responding to injustice.
“Provocative…[Shelby] doesn’t lay out a jobs program or a housing initiative. Indeed, as he freely admits, he offers ‘no new political strategies or policy proposals.’ What he aims to do instead is both more abstract and more radical: to challenge the assumption, common to liberals and conservatives alike, that ghettos are ‘problems’ best addressed with narrowly targeted government programs or civic interventions. For Shelby, ghettos are something more troubling and less tractable: symptoms of the ‘systemic injustice’ of the United States. They represent not aberrant dysfunction but the natural workings of a deeply unfair scheme. The only real solution, in this way of thinking, is the ‘fundamental reform of the basic structure of our society.’”
—James Ryerson, New York Times Book Review
In The End of the Cognitive Empire Boaventura de Sousa Santos further develops his concept of the "epistemologies of the South," in which he outlines a theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical framework for challenging the dominance of Eurocentric thought. As a collection of knowledges born of and anchored in the experiences of marginalized peoples who actively resist capitalism, colonialism, and patriarchy, epistemologies of the South represent those forms of knowledge that are generally discredited, erased, and ignored by dominant cultures of the global North. Noting the declining efficacy of established social and political solutions to combat inequality and discrimination, Santos suggests that global justice can only come about through an epistemological shift that guarantees cognitive justice. Such a shift would create new, alternative strategies for political mobilization and activism and give oppressed social groups the means through which to represent the world as their own and in their own terms.
Anthropology has long been associated with an ethos of “engagement.” The field’s core methods and practices involve long-term interpersonal contact between researchers and their study participants, giving major research topics in the field a distinctively human face. Can research findings be authentic and objective? Are anthropologists able to use their data to aid the participants of their study, and is that aid always welcome?
In Engaged Observer, Victoria Sanford and Asale Angel-Ajani bring together an international array of scholars who have been embedded in some of the most conflict-ridden and dangerous zones in the world to reflect on the role and responsibility of anthropological inquiry. They explore issues of truth and objectivity, the role of the academic, the politics of memory, and the impact of race, gender, and social position on the research process. Through ethnographic case studies, they offer models for conducting engaged research and illustrate the contradictions and challenges of doing so.
Providing a lively snapshot of the state of art and social justice today on a global level, Entry Points accompanies the inaugural Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics, launched at The New School on the occasion of the center’s twentieth anniversary. This book captures some of the most significant worldwide examples of art and social justice and introduces an interested audience of artists, policy makers, scholars, and writers to new ways of thinking about how justice is defined, advanced, and practiced through the arts. In so doing, it assembles some of the latest scholarship in this field while refining our vocabulary for speaking about social justice, social engagement, community enhancement, empowerment, and even art itself.
The book's first half contains three essays by Thomas Keenan, João Ribas, and Sharon Sliwinski that map the field of art and social justice. These essays are accompanied by more than twenty profiles of recent artist projects that consist of brief essays and artist pages. This curated and carefully considered map of artists and projects identifies key moments in art and social justice.
The book's second half consists of an in-depth analysis of Theaster Gates's The Dorchester Projects, which won the inaugural Vera List Prize for Art and Politics. Produced to complement the project’s exhibition at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons School of Design in September 2013, this analysis illuminates Gates's rich, complex, and exemplary work. This section includes an interview between Gates and Vera List Center director Carin Kuoni; essays by Horace D. Ballard Jr., Romi N. Crawford, Shannon Jackson, and Mabel O. Wilson; and a number of responses to The Dorchester Projects by faculty in departments across The New School.
Published by Duke University Press and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School
In Environmental Justice, leading thinkers of the environmental justice movement take a direct look at the failure of "top down" public policy to effectively deal with issues of environmental equity.The book provides a startling look at pressing social and environmental problems and charts a course for future action. Among the topics considered are: the history of the social justice movement the role of the professional in working with community groups methods of dealing with environmental problems at the international level participatory national policy for environmental education, energy, industrial development, and housing and sustainable development.Contributors include Robert Bullard, Deeohn Ferris, Tom B.K. Goldtooth, David Hahn-Baker, Beverly Wright, Ivette Perfecto, Patrick West, and others.
Ecological causes are championed not only by lobbyists or hikers. While mainstream environmentalism is usually characterized by well-financed, highly structured organizations operating on a national scale, campaigns for environmental justice are often fought by poor or minority communities. Environmentalism and Economic Justice is one of the first books devoted to Chicano environmental issues and is a study of U.S. environmentalism in transition as seen through the contributions of people of color. It elucidates the various forces driving and shaping two important examples of environmental organizing: the 1965-71 pesticide campaign of the United Farm Workers and a grazing conflict between a Hispano cooperative and mainstream environmentalists in northern New Mexico. The UFW example is one of workers highly marginalized by racism, whose struggle--as much for identity as for a union contract--resulted in boycotts of produce at the national level. The case of the grazing cooperative Ganados del Valle, which sought access to land set aside for elk hunting, represents a subaltern group fighting the elitism of natural resource policy in an effort to pursue a pastoral lifestyle. In both instances Pulido details the ways in which racism and economic subordination create subaltern communities, and shows how these groups use available resources to mobilize and improve their social, economic, and environmental conditions. Environmentalism and Economic Justice reveals that the environmental struggles of Chicano communities do not fit the mold of mainstream environmentalism, as they combine economic, identity, and quality-of-life issues. Examination of the forces that create and shape these grassroots movements clearly demonstrates that environmentalism needs to be sensitive to local issues, economically empowering, and respectful of ethnic and cultural diversity.
In The Expectation of Justice Megan Koreman traces the experiences of three small French towns during the troubled months of the Provisional Government following the Liberation in 1944. Her descriptions of the towns’ different wartime and postwar experiences contribute to a fresh depiction of mid-century France and illustrate the failure of the postwar government to adequately serve the interests of justice. As the first social history of the “après -Libération” period from the perspective of ordinary people, Koreman’s study reveals how citizens of these towns expected legal, social, and honorary justice—such as punishment for collaborators, fair food distribution, and formal commemoration of patriots, both living and dead. Although the French expected the Resistance’s Provisional Government to act according to local understandings of justice, its policies often violated local sensibilities by instead pursuing national considerations. Koreman assesses both the citizens’ eventual disillusionment and the social costs of the “Resistencialist myth” propagated by the de Gaulle government in an effort to hold together the fragmented postwar nation. She also suggests that the local demands for justice created by World War II were stifled by the Cold War, since many people in France feared that open opposition to the government would lead to a Communist takeover. This pattern of nationally instituted denial and suppression made it difficult for citizens to deal effectively with memories of wartime suffering and collaborationist betrayal. Now, with the end of the Cold War, says Koreman, memories of postwar injustices are resurfacing, and there is renewed interest in witnessing just and deserved closure. This social history of memory and reconstruction will engage those interested in history, war and peace issues, contemporary Europe, and the twentieth century.
We’ve been told, again and again, that life is unfair. But what if we’re wrong simply to resign ourselves to this situation? What if we have the power—and more, the duty—to change society for the better?
We do. And our very nature inclines us to do so. That’s the provocative argument Peter Corning makes in The Fair Society. Drawing on the evidence from our evolutionary history and the emergent science of human nature, Corning shows that we have an innate sense of fairness. While these impulses can easily be subverted by greed and demagoguery, they can also be harnessed for good. Corning brings together the latest findings from the behavioral and biological sciences to help us understand how to move beyond the Madoffs and Enrons in our midst in order to lay the foundation for a new social contract—a Biosocial Contract built on a deep understanding of human nature and a commitment to fairness. He then proposes a sweeping set of economic and political reforms based on three principles of fairness—equality, equity, and reciprocity—that together could transform our society and our world.
At this crisis point for capitalism, Corning reveals that the proper response to bank bailouts and financial chicanery isn’t to get mad—it’s to get fair.
Fire and Ink is a powerful and impassioned anthology of stories, poems, interviews, and essays that confront some of the most pressing social issues of our day. Designed to inspire and inform, this collection embodies the concepts of “breaking silence,” “bearing witness,” resistance, and resilience. Beyond students and teachers, the book will appeal to all readers with a commitment to social justice.
Fire and Ink brings together, for the first time in one volume, politically engaged writing by poets, fiction writers, and essayists. Including many of our finest writers—Martín Espada, Adrienne Rich, June Jordan, Patricia Smith, Gloria Anzaldúa, Sharon Olds, Arundhati Roy, Sonia Sanchez, Carolyn Forche, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Alice Walker, Linda Hogan, Gary Soto, Kim Blaeser, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Li-Young Lee, and Jimmy Santiago Baca, among others—this is an indispensable collection.
This groundbreaking anthology marks the emergence of social action writing as a distinct field within creative writing and literature. Featuring never-before-published pieces, as well as reprinted material, Fire and Ink is divided into ten sections focused on significant social issues, including identity, sexuality and gender, the environment, social justice, work, war, and peace. The pieces can often be gripping, such as “Frame,” in which Adrienne Rich confronts government and police brutality, or Chris Abani’s “Ode to Joy,” which documents great courage in the face of mortal danger.
Fire and Ink serves as a wonderful reader for a wide range of courses, from composition and rhetoric classes to courses in ethnic studies, gender studies, American studies, and even political science, by facing a past that was often accompanied by injustice and suffering. But beyond that, this collection teaches us that we all have the power to create a more equitable and just future.
Fleshing the Spirit brings together established and new writers exploring the relationships between the physical body, the spirit and spirituality, and social justice activism. Examining the complex and dynamic connections among these concepts, the writers emphasize the value of “flesh and blood experience” as a site of knowledge. They argue that spirituality—something quite different from institutional religious practice—can heal the mind/body split and set the stage for social change. Spirituality, they argue, is a necessary component of an alternative political agenda focused on equitable social and ecological change.
The anthology incorporates different genres of writing—such as poetry, testimonials, critical essays, and historical analysis—and stimulates the reader to engage spirituality in a critical, personal, and creative way. This interdisciplinary work is the first that attempts to theorize the radical interconnection between women of color, spirituality, and social activism. Before transformative political work can be done, the authors say in multiple ways, we must recognize that our spiritual need is a desire to more fully understand our relations with others. Conflict experienced on many levels sometimes severs those relations, separating us from others along racial, class, gender, sexual, national, or other socially constructed lines.
Fleshing the Spirit offers a spiritual journey of healing, health, and human revolution. The book’s open invitation to engage in critical dialogue and social activism—with the spirit and spirituality at the forefront—illuminates the way to social change and the ability to live in harmony with life’s universal energies.
Norma E. Cantú
C. Alejandra Elenes
Alicia Enciso Litschi
Oliva M. Espín
Inés Hernández- Avila
Rosa María Hernández Juárez
Sarahi Nuñez- Mejia
Laura E. Pérez
A rallying cry to link the food justice movement to broader social justice debates
The United States is a nation of foodies and food activists, many of them progressives, and yet their overwhelming concern for what they consume often hinders their engagement with social justice more broadly. Food Justice Now! charts a path from food activism to social justice activism that integrates the two. It calls on the food-focused to broaden and deepen their commitment to the struggle against structural inequalities both within and beyond the food system.
In an engrossing, historically grounded, and ethnographically rich narrative, Joshua Sbicca argues that food justice is more than just a myopic focus on food, allowing scholars and activists alike to investigate the causes behind inequities and evaluate and implement political strategies to overcome them. Focusing on carceral, labor, and immigration crises, Sbicca tells the stories of three California-based food movement organizations, showing that when activists use food to confront neoliberal capitalism and institutional racism, they can creatively expand how to practice and achieve food justice.
Sbicca sets his central argument in opposition to apolitical and individual solutions, discussing national food movement campaigns and the need for economically and racially just food policies—a matter of vital public concern with deep implications for building collective power across a diversity of interests.
In Habitations of Modernity, Dipesh Chakrabarty explores the complexities of modernism in India and seeks principles of humaneness grounded in everyday life that may elude grand political theories. The questions that motivate Chakrabarty are shared by all postcolonial historians and anthropologists: How do we think about the legacy of the European Enlightenment in lands far from Europe in geography or history? How can we envision ways of being modern that speak to what is shared around the world, as well as to cultural diversity? How do we resist the tendency to justify the violence accompanying triumphalist moments of modernity?
Chakrabarty pursues these issues in a series of closely linked essays, ranging from a history of the influential Indian series Subaltern Studies to examinations of specific cultural practices in modern India, such as the use of khadi—Gandhian style of dress—by male politicians and the politics of civic consciousness in public spaces. He concludes with considerations of the ethical dilemmas that arise when one writes on behalf of social justice projects.
From Thomas Jefferson to John Rawls, justice has been at the center of America’s self-image and national creed. At the same time, for many of its peoples-from African slaves and European immigrants to women and the poor-the American experience has been defined by injustice: oppression, disenfranchisement, violence, and prejudice.
In Identity and the Failure of America, John Michael explores the contradictions between a mythic national identity promising justice to all and the realities of a divided, hierarchical, and frequently iniquitous history and social order. Through a series of insightful readings, Michael analyzes such cultural moments as the epic dramatization of the tension between individual ambition and communal complicity in Moby-Dick, attempts to effect social change through sympathy in the novels of Lydia Marie Child and Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s antislavery activism and Frederick Douglass’s long fight for racial equity, and the divisive figures of John Brown and Nat Turner in American letters and memory.
Focusing on exemplary instances when the nature of the United States as an essentially conflicted nation turned to force, Michael ultimately posits the development of a more cosmopolitan American identity, one that is more fully and justly imagined in response to the nation’s ethical failings at home and abroad.
John Michael is professor of English and of visual and cultural studies at the University of Rochester. He is the author of Anxious Intellects: Academic Professionals, Public Intellectuals, and Enlightenment Values and Emerson and Skepticism: The Cipher of the World.
This book presents G. A. Cohen's Gifford Lectures, delivered at the University of Edinburgh in 1996. Focusing on Marxism and Rawlsian liberalism, Cohen draws a connection between these thought systems and the choices that shape a person's life. In the case of Marxism, the relevant life is his own: a communist upbringing in the 1940s in Montreal, which induced a belief in a strongly socialist egalitarian doctrine. The narrative of Cohen's reckoning with that inheritance develops through a series of sophisticated engagements with the central questions of social and political philosophy.
In the case of Rawlsian doctrine, Cohen looks to people's lives in general. He argues that egalitarian justice is not only, as Rawlsian liberalism teaches, a matter of rules that define the structure of society, but also a matter of personal attitude and choice. Personal attitude and choice are, moreover, the stuff of which social structure itself is made. Those truths have not informed political philosophy as much as they should, and Cohen's focus on them brings political philosophy closer to moral philosophy, and to the Judeo-Christian ethical tradition, than it has recently been.
Through newly unearthed texts virtually unknown in Andean studies, Indians and Mestizos in the "Lettered City" highlights the Andean intellectual tradition of writing in their long-term struggle for social empowerment and questions the previous understanding of the "lettered city" as a privileged space populated solely by colonial elites. Rarely acknowledged in studies of resistance to colonial rule, these writings challenged colonial hierarchies and ethnic discrimination in attempts to redefine the Andean role in colonial society.
Scholars have long assumed that Spanish rule remained largely undisputed in Peru between the 1570s and 1780s, but educated elite Indians and mestizos challenged the legitimacy of Spanish rule, criticized colonial injustice and exclusion, and articulated the ideas that would later be embraced in the Great Rebellion in 1781. Their movement extended across the Atlantic as the scholars visited the seat of the Spanish empire to negotiate with the king and his advisors for social reform, lobbied diverse networks of supporters in Madrid and Peru, and struggled for admission to religious orders, schools and universities, and positions in ecclesiastic and civil administration.
Indians and Mestizos in the "Lettered City" explores how scholars contributed to social change and transformation of colonial culture through legal, cultural, and political activism, and how, ultimately, their significant colonial critiques and campaigns redefined colonial public life and discourse. It will be of interest to scholars and students of colonial history, colonial literature, Hispanic studies, and Latin American studies.
Through an examination of debates about cosmopolitanism and human rights, Inhuman Conditions questions key ideas about what it means to be human. Cheah links influential arguments about the new cosmopolitanism to a perceptive examination of the older cosmopolitanism of Kant and Marx, and juxtaposes them with proliferating formations of collective culture to reveal the flaws in claims about the imminent decline of the nation-state and the obsolescence of popular nationalism.
Insubordinate spaces are places of possibility, products of acts of accompaniment and improvisation that deepen capacities for democratic social change. Barbara Tomlinson and George Lipsitz’s Insubordinate Spaces explores the challenges facing people committed to social justice in an era when social institutions have increasingly been reconfigured to conform to the imperatives of a market society.
In their book, the authors argue that education, the arts, and activism are key terrains of political and ideological conflict. They explore and analyze exemplary projects responding to current social justice issues and crises, from the Idle No More movement launched by Indigenous people in Canada to the performance art of Chingo Bling, Fandango convenings, the installation art of Ramiro Gomez, and the mass protests proclaiming “Black Lives Matter" in Ferguson, MO. Tomlinson and Lipsitz draw on key concepts from struggles to advance ideas about reciprocal recognition and co-creation as components in the construction of new egalitarian and democratic social relations, practices, and institutions.
In Intersectionality as Critical Social Theory Patricia Hill Collins offers a set of analytical tools for those wishing to develop intersectionality's capability to theorize social inequality in ways that would facilitate social change. While intersectionality helps shed light on contemporary social issues, Collins notes that it has yet to reach its full potential as a critical social theory. She contends that for intersectionality to fully realize its power, its practitioners must critically reflect on its assumptions, epistemologies, and methods. She places intersectionality in dialog with several theoretical traditions—from the Frankfurt school to black feminist thought—to sharpen its definition and foreground its singular critical purchase, thereby providing a capacious interrogation into intersectionality's potential to reshape the world.
Bettye Collier-Thomas’s groundbreaking book, Jesus, Jobs, and Justice—now available for the first time in paperback—provides a remarkable account of the religious faith, social and political activism, and extraordinary resilience of black women during the centuries of American growth and change. As co-creators of churches, women were a central factor in their development. However, women often had to cope with sexism in black churches, as well as racism in mostly white denominations.
Collier-Thomas skillfully shows how black church women created national organizations such as the National Association of Colored Women, the National League of Colored Republican Women, and the National Council of Negro Women to fight for civil rights and combat discrimination. She also examines how black women missionaries sacrificed their lives in service to their African sisters whose destiny they believed was tied to theirs.
While religion has been a guiding force in the lives of most African Americans, for black women it has been essential. Jesus, Jobs, and Justice restores black women to their rightful place in American and black history and demonstrates their faith in themselves, their race, and their God.
Justice by Lottery
Barbara Goodwin University of Chicago Press, 1992 Library of Congress JC578.G65 1992 | Dewey Decimal 320.011
In this imaginative and provocative book, Barbara Goodwin explores the question of how lottery systems can achieve egalitarian social justice in societies with seemingly ineradicable inequalities.
She begins with the utopian fable of Aleatoria, a country not unlike our own in the not-too-distant-future, where most goods are distributed by lottery—even the right to have children. She then analyzes the philosophical arguments for and against lottery distribution and a comparison of "justice by lottery" with other contemporary theories of justice.
Goodwin also applies her theory to practical problems in the real world which could be—or have been—justly resolved by the use of lotteries, such as military drafts, jury duty, and immigration eligibility. She demonstrates that in many areas, including that of political power, a regular and random reallocation of goods would be a fairer and more democratic method than the distributive systems found in liberal democracies today.
Employing history, social theory, and a detailed contemporary case study, Knowledge for Social Change argues for fundamentally reshaping research universities to function as democratic, civic, and community-engaged institutions dedicated to advancing learning and knowledge for social change. The authors focus on significant contributions to learning made by Francis Bacon, Benjamin Franklin, Seth Low, Jane Addams, William Rainey Harper, and John Dewey—as well as their own work at Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships—to help create and sustain democratically-engaged colleges and universities for the public good.
Knowledge for Social Change highlights university-assisted community schools to effect a thoroughgoing change of research universities that will contribute to more democratic schools, communities, and societies. The authors also call on democratic-minded academics to create and sustain a global movement dedicated to advancing learning for the “relief of man’s estate”—an iconic phrase by Francis Bacon that emphasized the continued betterment of the human condition—and to realize Dewey’s vision of an organic “Great Community” composed of participatory, democratic, collaborative, and interdependent societies.
F. A. Hayek made many valuable contributions to the field of economics as well as to the disciplines of philosophy and politics. This volume represents the second of Hayek's comprehensive three-part study of the relations between law and liberty. Here, Hayek expounds his conviction that he continued unexamined pursuit of "social justice" will contribute to the erosion of personal liberties and encourage the advent of totalitarianism.
Local Justice in America
Jon Elster Russell Sage Foundation, 1995 Library of Congress HM216.L63 1995 | Dewey Decimal 303.372
Notions of justice and fairness are central to the American belief that the pursuit of a healthy and productive life is the right of all citizens. Yet in the real world there are seldom sufficient resources to meet the needs of everyone, and institutions are routinely forced to make difficult decisions regarding who will be favored and who will not. Local Justice in America is an insightful look into how selections are made in four critical areas: college admissions, kidney transplants, employee layoffs, and legalized immigration. This volume's case studies survey the history and modern rationale behind seemingly enigmatic allocation systems, chronicling the political and ethical debates, occasional scandals, and judicial battles that have shaped them. Though these selection processes differ significantly, each reflects a bitter struggle between opposing—and equally intense—principles of local justice. For example, are admissions officers who use special points to foster student diversity less fair than those who rely exclusively on scholastic achievement? How did the system of personal discretion among doctors selecting transplant patients come to be viewed by the public as more inequitable than compassionate? Does the use of seniority as a gauge in layoffs violate equal opportunity laws or provide employers with their only objective and neutral criterion? How have partisan interest groups repeatedly shifted immigration quotas between the extremes of xenophobia and altruism? In framing chapters, editor Jon Elster draws upon these studies to speculate on the unique nature of the American value system. Arguing that race matters deeply in all considerations of local justice, he discusses how our society's assessment of neediness balances on the often uneasy compromises between the desire to reward deserving individuals and the call to strengthen opportunities for disadvantaged groups. Well informed and stimulating, Local Justice in America speaks directly to policy debates in the fields of health, education, work, and immigration, and makes an important contribution to our understanding of the fundamental social issues that affect our daily welfare.
Markets of Sorrow, Labors of Faith is an ethnographic account of long-term recovery in post-Katrina New Orleans. It is also a sobering exploration of the privatization of vital social services under market-driven governance. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, public agencies subcontracted disaster relief to private companies that turned the humanitarian work of recovery into lucrative business. These enterprises profited from the very suffering that they failed to ameliorate, producing a second-order disaster that exacerbated inequalities based on race and class and leaving residents to rebuild almost entirely on their own.
Filled with the often desperate voices of residents who returned to New Orleans, Markets of Sorrow, Labors of Faith describes the human toll of disaster capitalism and the affect economy it has produced. While for-profit companies delayed delivery of federal resources to returning residents, faith-based and nonprofit groups stepped in to rebuild, compelled by the moral pull of charity and the emotional rewards of volunteer labor. Adams traces the success of charity efforts, even while noting an irony of neoliberalism, which encourages the very same for-profit companies to exploit these charities as another market opportunity. In so doing, the companies profit not once but twice on disaster.
Research in environmental justice reveals that low-income and minority neighborhoods in our nation’s cities are often the preferred sites for landfills, power plants, and polluting factories. Those who live in these sacrifice zones are forced to shoulder the burden of harmful environmental effects so that others can prosper. Mountains of Injustice broadens the discussion from the city to the country by focusing on the legacy of disproportionate environmental health impacts on communities in the Appalachian region, where the costs of cheap energy and cheap goods are actually quite high.
Through compelling stories and interviews with people who are fighting for environmental justice, Mountains of Injustice contributes to the ongoing debate over how to equitably distribute the long-term environmental costs and consequences of economic development.
Laura Allen, Brian Black, Geoffrey L. Buckley, Donald Edward Davis, Wren Kruse, Nancy Irwin Maxwell, Chad Montrie, Michele Morrone, Kathryn Newfont, John Nolt, Jedediah S. Purdy, and Stephen J. Scanlan.
A spirited reevaluation of the public moralists who shaped public policy in nineteenth-century America, Mugwumps: Public Moralists of the Gilded Age provides a refreshing look at a group of Americans whose importance to the history of our country has commonly been dismissed.
A public interest group that labeled the generation following the American Civil War as the "Gilded Age," Mugwumps were college-educated individuals who lived the lessons of their moral philosophy—Christian values, republican virtue, and classical liberalism. Tracing Mugwump values back before the term was commonly used, Tucker defines these liberals as benevolent and altruistic, active campaigners against slavery and imperialism, and for sound money, lower tariffs, and civil service reform. The earliest Mugwumps took on the self-assigned task of advocating public principles over private interests.
Evaluations of these public moralists during the 1950s and 1960s, however, did not paint the Mugwumps in so positive a light. Awash in the popular New Deal public policies that advocated positive government intervention and regulation in the economy, these studies dismissed Mugwump liberalism as outdated. More specifically, the reformers were criticized as being self-interested failures.
Tucker obliges readers to look beyond such dismissals to the history and accomplishments of Mugwumps as a whole. Unlike previous historians, Tucker examines the antebellum roots of the Mugwumps and follows their ever-increasing participation in American government throughout the nineteenth century. Tucker portrays Mugwumps not as selfish agents of the middle class but as fascinating practitioners of eighteenth-century public virtue and nineteenth-century social science.
This book forcefully challenges previous studies on the Mugwumps and restores these public moralists to the mainstream of nineteenth-century American history. Their concerns for morality and free-market economics are again fashionable in contemporary politics and deserving of fresh attention from both the general reader and the scholar.
In Native Americans and the Christian Right, Andrea Smith advances social movement theory beyond simplistic understandings of social-justice activism as either right-wing or left-wing and urges a more open-minded approach to the role of religion in social movements. In examining the interplay of biblical scripture, gender, and nationalism in Christian Right and Native American activism, Smith rethinks the nature of political strategy and alliance-building for progressive purposes, highlighting the potential of unlikely alliances, termed “cowboys and Indians coalitions” by one of her Native activist interviewees. She also complicates ideas about identity, resistance, accommodation, and acquiescence in relation to social-justice activism.
Smith draws on archival research, interviews, and her own participation in Native struggles and Christian Right conferences and events. She considers American Indian activism within the Promise Keepers and new Charismatic movements. She also explores specific opportunities for building unlikely alliances. For instance, while evangelicals’ understanding of the relationship between the Bible and the state may lead to reactionary positions on issues including homosexuality, civil rights, and abortion, it also supports a relatively progressive position on prison reform. In terms of evangelical and Native American feminisms, she reveals antiviolence organizing to be a galvanizing force within both communities, discusses theories of coalition politics among both evangelical and indigenous women, and considers Native women’s visions of sovereignty and nationhood. Smith concludes with a reflection on the implications of her research for the field of Native American studies.
“As long as humans have been around, we’ve had to move in order to survive.” So arises that most universal and elemental human longing for home, and so begins Greta Gaard’s exploration of just precisely what it means to be at home in the world.
Gaard journeys through the deserts of southern California, through the High Sierras, the Wind River Mountains, and the Northern Cascades, through the wildlands and waterways of Washington and Minnesota, through snow season, rain season, mud season, and lilac season, yet her essays transcend mere description of natural beauty to investigate the interplay between place and identity. Gaard examines the earliest environments of childhood and the relocations of adulthood, expanding the feminist insight that identity is formed through relationships to include relationships to place. “Home” becomes not a static noun, but an active verb: the process of cultivating the connections with place and people that shape who we become.
Striving to create a sense of home, Gaard involves herself socially, culturally, and ecologically within her communities, discovering that as she works to change her environment, her environment changes her. As Gaard investigates environmental concerns such as water quality, oil spills, or logging, she touches on their parallels to community issues such as racism, classism, and sexism, uncovering the dynamic interaction by which “humans, like other life on earth, both shape and are shaped by our environments.”
While maintaining an understanding of the complex systems and structures that govern communities and environments, Gaard’s writing delves deeper to reveal the experiences and realities we displace through euphemisms or stereotypes, presenting issues such as homelessness or hunger with compelling honesty and sensitivity. Gaard’s essays form a quest narrative, expressing the process of letting go that is an inherent part of an impermanent life. And when a person is broken, in the aftermath of that letting go, it is a place that holds the pieces together.
As long as we are forced to move—by economics, by war, by colonialism—the strategies we possess to make and redefine home are imperative to our survival, and vital in the shaping of our very identities.
Patrick Iber tells the story of left-wing Latin American artists, writers, and scholars who worked as diplomats, advised rulers, opposed dictators, and even led nations during the Cold War. Ultimately, they could not break free from the era’s rigid binaries, and found little room to promote their social democratic ideals without compromising them.
NEWER IDEALS OF PEACE
Jane Addams University of Illinois Press, 2006 Library of Congress HN64.A25 2007 | Dewey Decimal 306.20973
In this her second book, Jane Addams moves beyond humanitarian appeals to sensibility and prudence, advancing a more aggressive, positive idea of peace as a dynamic social process emerging out of the poorer quarters of cosmopolitan cities. Her deep analysis of relations among diverse groups in U.S. society, exemplified by inter-ethnic and labor relations in Chicago, draws widely useful lessons for both domestic and global peace, in an early formulation of today’s "globalization from below."
In an unprecedented, revolutionary critique of the pervasive militarization of society, Addams applies her scathing pen to traditional advocates and philosophers of “negative” peace, founders of the U.S. constitution, militarists, bigots, imperialists, and theories of “democratic peace” and liberal capitalism. Instead she sees a slow, powerful emergence of forces from below--the poor, the despised, workers, women, ethnic and racial communities, oppressed groups at home and abroad--that would invent moral substitutes for war and gradually shape a just, peaceful, and varied social order. An extensive, in-depth introduction by Berenice Carroll and Clinton Fink provides historical context, analysis, and a reassessment of the theoretical and practical significance of Newer Ideals of Peace today.
Author Stephanie Bayless examines why this Southern aristocratic matron, the daughter of a Confederate soldier, tirelessly devoted herself to improving the lives of others and, in so doing, became a model for activism across the South. It is the first work of its kind to consider Terry's lifelong commitment to social causes and is written for both traditional scholars and all those interested in history, civil rights, and the ability of women to create change within the gender limits of the time. Adolphine Fletcher Terry died in Little Rock, Arkansas, in July of 1976, at the age of ninety-three. Her life was a monument to progress in the South, particularly in her native state of Arkansas, a place she once described as "holy ground."
Named a Notable Book for 2005 by the American Library Association, One with Nineveh is a fresh synthesis of the major issues of our time, now brought up to date with an afterword for the paperback edition. Through lucid explanations, telling anecdotes, and incisive analysis, the book spotlights the three elephants in our global living room-rising consumption, still-growing world population, and unchecked political and economic inequity-that together are increasingly shaping today's politics and humankind's future. One with Nineveh brilliantly puts today's political and environmental debates in a larger context and offers some bold proposals for improving our future prospect.
At St. John's Bread and Life, a soup kitchen in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, more than a thousand people line up for breakfast and lunch five days a week. During the twelve-year era of welfare reform, William DiFazio observed the daily lives of poor people at St. John's and throughout New York City.
In this trenchant and groundbreaking work, DiFazio presents the results of welfare reform—from ending entitlements to diminished welfare benefits—through the eyes and voices of those who were most directly affected by it. Ordinary Poverty concludes with a program to guarantee universal rights to a living wage as a crucial way to end poverty. Ultimately, DiFazio articulates the form a true poor people's movement would take—one that would link the interests of all social movements with the interests of ending poverty.
M. Jacqui Alexander is one of the most important theorists of transnational feminism working today. Pedagogies of Crossing brings together essays she has written over the past decade, uniting her incisive critiques, which have had such a profound impact on feminist, queer, and critical race theories, with some of her more recent work. In this landmark interdisciplinary volume, Alexander points to a number of critical imperatives made all the more urgent by contemporary manifestations of neoimperialism and neocolonialism. Among these are the need for North American feminism and queer studies to take up transnational frameworks that foreground questions of colonialism, political economy, and racial formation; for a thorough re-conceptualization of modernity to account for the heteronormative regulatory practices of modern state formations; and for feminists to wrestle with the spiritual dimensions of experience and the meaning of sacred subjectivity.
In these meditations, Alexander deftly unites large, often contradictory, historical processes across time and space. She focuses on the criminalization of queer communities in both the United States and the Caribbean in ways that prompt us to rethink how modernity invents its own traditions; she juxtaposes the political organizing and consciousness of women workers in global factories in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Canada with the pressing need for those in the academic factory to teach for social justice; she reflects on the limits and failures of liberal pluralism; and she presents original and compelling arguments that show how and why transgenerational memory is an indispensable spiritual practice within differently constituted women-of-color communities as it operates as a powerful antidote to oppression. In this multifaceted, visionary book, Alexander maps the terrain of alternative histories and offers new forms of knowledge with which to mold alternative futures.
Through a series of essays by leading demographers, environmentalists and reproductive health advocates, A Pivotal Moment offers a new perspective on the complex connection between population dynamics and environmental quality. It presents the latest research on the relationship between population growth and climate change, ecosystem health and other environmental issues. It surveys the new demographic landscape—in which population growth rates have fallen, but human numbers continue to increase. It looks back at the lessons learned from half a century of population policy—and forward to propose twenty-first century population policies that are sustainable and just.
A Pivotal Moment puts forth the concept of “population justice,” which is inspired by reproductive justice and environmental justice movements. Population justice holds that inequality is a root cause of both rapid population growth and environmental degradation. As the authors in this volume explain, to slow population growth and build a sustainable future, women and men need access to voluntary family planning and other reproductive health services. They need education and employment opportunities, especially for women. Population justice means tackling the deep inequities—both gender and economic—that are associated with rapid population growth and unsustainable resource consumption. Where family planning is available, where couples are confident their children will survive, where girls go to school, where young men and women have economic opportunity—there couples will have healthier and smaller families.
American communities are changing fast: ethnic minority populations are growing, home ownership is falling, the number of people per household is going up, and salaries are going down. According to Marc Brenman and Thomas W. Sanchez, the planning field is largely unprepared for these fundamental shifts. If planners are going to adequately serve residents of diverse ages, races, and income levels, they need to address basic issues of equity. Planning as if People Matter offers practical solutions to make our communities more livable and more equitable for all residents.
While there are many books on environmental justice, relatively few go beyond theory to give real-world examples of how better planning can level inequities. In contrast, Planning as if People Matter is written expressly for planning practitioners, public administrators, policy-makers, activists, and students who must directly confront these challenges. It provides new insights about familiar topics such as stakeholder participation and civil rights. And it addresses emerging issues, including disaster response, new technologies, and equity metrics. Far from an academic treatment, Planning as if People Matter is rooted in hard data, on-the-ground experience, and current policy analysis.
In this tumultuous period of economic change, there has never been a better time to reform the planning process. Brenman and Sanchez point the way toward a more just social landscape.
In 2010, Jamaican police and military forces entered the West Kingston community of Tivoli Gardens to apprehend Christopher “Dudus” Coke, who had been ordered for extradition to the United States on gun and drug-running charges. By the time Coke was detained, somewhere between seventy-five and two hundred civilians had been killed. In Political Life in the Wake of the Plantation, Deborah A. Thomas uses the incursion as a point of departure for theorizing the roots of contemporary state violence in Jamaica and in post-plantation societies in general. Drawing on visual, oral historical, and colonial archives, Thomas traces the long-term legacies of the plantation system and how its governing logics continue to shape and replicate forms of violence. She places affect at the center of sovereignty to destabilize disembodied narratives of liberalism and progress and to raise questions about recognition, repair, and accountability. In tying theories of politics, colonialism, race, and affect together with Jamaica's history, Thomas presents a robust framework for understanding what it means to be human in the plantation's wake.
The meaning of social justice remains obscure, and existing theories have failed to capture the way people in general think about issues of social justice. David Miller develops a new theory and argues that principles of justice must be understood contextually, with each principle finding its natural home in a different form of human association.
Our narrower obligations often blind us to larger social responsibilities. The moral claims arising out of special relationships—family, friends, colleagues, and so on—always seem to take priority. Strangers ordinarily get, and ordinarily are thought to deserve, only what is left over. Robert E. Goodin argues that this is morally mistaken. In Protecting the Vulnerable, he presents a comprehensive theory of responsibility based on the concept of vulnerability. Since the range of people vulnerable to our actions or choices extends beyond those to whom we have made specific commitments (promises, vows, contracts), we must recognize a much more extensive network of obligations and moral claims. State welfare services, for example, are morally on a par with the services we render to family and friends. The same principle widens our international, intergenerational, and interpersonal responsibilities as well as our duties toward animals and natural environments. This book, written with keen intelligence and unfailing common sense, opens up new perspectives on issues central to public policy and of critical concern to philosophers and social scientists as well as to politicians, lawyers and social workers.
Why did affirmative action programs implemented during the sixties and seventies suffer vicious assaults in the nineties? How were culturally resonant appeals to individualism and colorblindness turned around during the nineties to epitomize a “toxic system of quotas, preference, and set-asides”?In The Racial Order of Things, Roopali Mukherjee analyzes reversals and reinterpretations that mark the turn from the civil rights era of the sixties to the post-soul decade of the nineties. She begins by surveying a series of intractable disagreements over race- and gender-based social justice that have played out over the past decade, framed by the 1996 passage of California’s Proposition 209 and the 2003 Supreme Court decision on admissions criteria at the University of Michigan. Examining political campaigns for and against affirmative action as well as films about dilemmas of gender and race in the mythic meritocracy, the book exposes a remarkable discursive tug-of-war over antidiscrimination policies during the nineties.Highlighting the ways in which categories such as “blackness” and “women” have operated in these debates, Mukherjee sees the public policy process as a key site where cultural identities are formed, recognized, and discarded. Considering mainstream media, including Hollywood films like Disclosure, G.I. Jane, Courage under Fire, and The Contender, Mukherjee focuses on conflicts following the introduction of women and blacks into the workplace. She explores the politics of public memory about the civil rights era through the lens of feature film, documentary, and network news. Using newspaper articles and legislative records, Mukherjee provides a comparative reading of narratives and counternarratives of the debate surrounding the 1964 Civil Rights Act and anti–affirmative action campaigns of the neoliberal nineties.Balancing policy narrative, cinematic reading, and conceptual analysis, Mukherjee demonstrates a shifting and paradoxical racial order that explains how the cultural authority and political career of affirmative action remains in flux, thoroughly contested, and contradictory.Roopali Mukherjee is assistant professor of media studies at Queens College of the City University of New York.
Reinventing Cities emphasizes the extraordinary accomplishments of eleven urban planners who work for the needs of low income and working class people. Through the voices of equity planners who have worked "in the trenches" of city halls, Norman Krumholz and Pierre Clavel explore the inner dimensions of social change, economic development, community organizing, and the dynamics of implementing and producing fair housing. Preceded by "snapshots" that describe the demographics, politics, and economics of each specific city or region, the editors' interviews with these leading progressive planners highlight productive strategies, disquieting failures, and the cities in which the fought for equity.
Included are conversations with Rick Cohen, former director of Jersey City's Department of Housing and Economic Development; Dale F. Bertsch, former first director of the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, Dayton, Ohio; Robert Mier, former commissioner of the Department of Economic Development (DED); Kari J. Moe, former deputy commissioner of Research and Development, DED'; Arturo Vazquez, former director of Mayor Washington's Office of Employment and Training, Chicago; Margaret D. Strachan, former city commissioner, Portland, Oregon; Peter Dreier, former housing director, Boston Redevelopment Authority, and policy aide to Mayor Raymond Flynn; Billie Bramhall, planning staff, Mayor Federico Pena, Denver, Colorado; Howard Stanback, city manager, Hartford, Connecticut; Derek Shearer, former Planning Commission chairman, Santa Monica, California; and Kenneth Grimes, senior planning analyst, San Diego Housing Commission.
In the series Conflicts in Urban and Regional Development, edited by John R. Logan and Todd Swanstrom.
Religion has jumped into the sphere of global and domestic politics in ways that few would have imagined a century ago. Some expected that religion would die as modernity flourished. Instead, it now stares at us almost daily from the front pages of newspapers and television broadcasts. Although it is usually stories about the Christian Right or conservative Islam that grab headlines, there are many religious activists of other political persuasions that are working quietly for social justice. This book examines how religious immigrants and religious activists are working for equitable treatment for immigrants in the United States.
The essays in this book analyze the different ways in which organized religion provides immigrants with an arena for mobilization, civic participation, and solidarity. Contributors explore topics including how non-Western religious groups such as the Vietnamese Caodai are striving for community recognition and addressing problems such as racism, economic issues, and the politics of diaspora; how interfaith groups organize religious people into immigrant civil rights activists at the U.S.–Mexican border; and how Catholic groups advocate governmental legislation and policies on behalf of refugees.
Relocating Authority examines the ways Japanese Americans have continually used writing to respond to the circumstances of their community’s mass imprisonment during World War II. Using both Nikkei cultural frameworks and community-specific history for methodological inspiration and guidance, Mira Shimabukuro shows how writing was used privately and publicly to individually survive and collectively resist the conditions of incarceration.
Examining a wide range of diverse texts and literacy practices such as diary entries, note-taking, manifestos, and multiple drafts of single documents, Relocating Authority draws upon community archives, visual histories, and Asian American history and theory to reveal the ways writing has served as a critical tool for incarcerees and their descendants. Incarcerees not only used writing to redress the “internment” in the moment but also created pieces of text that enabled and inspired further redress long after the camps had closed.
Relocating Authority highlights literacy’s enduring potential to participate in social change and assist an imprisoned people in relocating authority away from their captors and back to their community and themselves. It will be of great interest to students and scholars of ethnic and Asian American rhetorics, American studies, and anyone interested in the relationship between literacy and social justice.
In this work of political philosophy, Cohen sets out to rescue the egalitarian thesis that in a society where distributive justice prevails, people’s material prospects are roughly equal. Arguing against the Rawlsian version of a just society, Cohen demonstrates that distributive justice does not tolerate deep inequality.
As members of various and often conflicting communities, how do we reconcile what we have come to understand as our human rights with our responsibilities toward one another? With the bright thread of individualism woven through the American psyche, where can our sense of duty toward others be found? What has happened to our love—even our concern—for our neighbor?
In this revised edition of his magisterial exploration of these critical questions, renowned ethicist Arthur Dyck revisits and profoundly hones his call for the moral bonds of community. In all areas of contemporary life, be it in business, politics, health care, religion—and even in family relationships—the "right" of individuals to consider themselves first has taken precedence over our responsibilities toward others. Dyck contends that we must recast the language of rights to take into account our once natural obligations to all the communities of which we are a part.
Rethinking Rights and Responsibilities, at the nexus of ethics, political theory, public policy, and law, traces how the peculiarly American formulations of the rights of the individual have assaulted our connections with, and responsibilities for, those around us. Dyck critically examines contemporary society and the relationship between responsibilities and rights, particularly as they are expressed in medicine and health care, to maintain that while indeed rights and responsibilities form the moral bonds of community, we must begin with the rudimentary task of taking better care of one another.
A trillion-dollar industry, the US non-profit sector is one of the world's largest economies. From art museums and university hospitals to think tanks and church charities, over 1.5 million organizations of staggering diversity share the tax-exempt 501(c)(3) designation, if little else. Many social justice organizations have joined this world, often blunting political goals to satisfy government and foundation mandates. But even as funding shrinks, many activists often find it difficult to imagine movement-building outside the non-profit model. The Revolution Will Not Be Funded gathers essays by radical activists, educators, and non-profit staff from around the globe who critically rethink the long-term consequences of what they call the "non-profit industrial complex." Drawing on their own experiences, the contributors track the history of non-profits and provide strategies to transform and work outside them. Urgent and visionary, The Revolution Will Not Be Funded presents a biting critique of the quietly devastating role the non-profit industrial complex plays in managing dissent.
Contributors. Christine E. Ahn, Robert L. Allen, Alisa Bierria, Nicole Burrowes, Communities Against Rape and Abuse (CARA), William Cordery, Morgan Cousins, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Stephanie Guilloud, Adjoa Florência Jones de Almeida, Tiffany Lethabo King, Paul Kivel, Soniya Munshi, Ewuare Osayande, Amara H. Pérez, Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide, Dylan Rodríguez, Paula X. Rojas, Ana Clarissa Rojas Durazo, Sisters in Action for Power, Andrea Smith, Eric Tang, Madonna Thunder Hawk, Ije Ude, Craig Willse
Winner of the Alfred B. Thomas Award (Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies)
Revolutionary Parks tells the surprising story of how forty national parks were created in Mexico during the latter stages of the first social revolution of the twentieth century. By 1940 Mexico had more national parks than any other country. Together they protected more than two million acres of land in fourteen states. Even more remarkable, Lázaro Cárdenas, president of Mexico in the 1930s, began to promote concepts akin to sustainable development and ecotourism.
Conventional wisdom indicates that tropical and post-colonial countries, especially in the early twentieth century, have seldom had the ability or the ambition to protect nature on a national scale. It is also unusual for any country to make conservation a political priority in the middle of major reforms after a revolution. What emerges in Emily Wakild’s deft inquiry is the story of a nature protection program that takes into account the history, society, and culture of the times. Wakild employs case studies of four parks to show how the revolutionary momentum coalesced to create early environmentalism in Mexico.
According to Wakild, Mexico’s national parks were the outgrowth of revolutionary affinities for both rational science and social justice. Yet, rather than reserves set aside solely for ecology or politics, rural people continued to inhabit these landscapes and use them for a range of activities, from growing crops to producing charcoal. Sympathy for rural people tempered the radicalism of scientific conservationists. This fine balance between recognizing the morally valuable, if not always economically profitable, work of rural people and designing a revolutionary state that respected ecological limits proved to be a radical episode of government foresight.
In the 1949 Housing Act, Congress declared "a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family" our national housing goal. Today, little more than half a century later, upwards of 100 million people in the United States live in housing that is physically inadequate, unsafe, overcrowded, or unaffordable.
The contributors to A Right to Housing consider the key issues related to America's housing crisis, including income inequality and insecurity, segregation and discrimination, the rights of the elderly, as well as legislative and judicial responses to homelessness. The book offers a detailed examination of how access to adequate housing is directly related to economic security.
With essays by leading activists and scholars, this book presents a powerful and compelling analysis of the persistent inability of the U.S. to meet many of its citizens' housing needs, and a comprehensive proposal for progressive change.
Theories of justice, argues Virginia Held, are usually designed for a perfect, hypothetical world. They do not give us guidelines for living in an imperfect world in which the choices and decisions that we must make are seldom clear-cut.
Seeking a morality based on actual experience, Held offers a method of inquiry with which to deal with the specific moral problems encountered in daily life. She argues that the division between public and private morality is misleading and shows convincingly that moral judgment should be contextual. She maps out different approaches and positions for various types of issues, including membership in a state, legal decisions, political activities, economic transactions, interpersonal relations, diplomacy, journalism, and determining our obligation to future generations. Issues such as these provide the true test of moral theory, since its success is seen in the willingness of conscientious persons to commit themselves to it by acting on it in their daily lives.
Schools & Social Justice
R. W. Connell Temple University Press, 1993 Library of Congress LC192.C66 1993 | Dewey Decimal 370.19
Social justice, R.W. Connell contends, is an inextricable part of any educational system, and democratic societies should give priority to the educational needs of the disadvantaged. In this remarkable manifesto, one of education's most distinguished voices cautions that school systems dealing unjustly with their disadvantaged students degrade the quality of education for all.
The book's compelling, well-reasoned arguments call for new social policies. Drawing on research experience in the United States, Canada, Britain, and Australia, Connell demonstrates the weakness in programs that attempt merely to establish equal opportunity. He observes that scholarships, compensatory education, desegregation, and affirmative action focus on distributive justice, rather than on the nature of the education.
Curricular justice, Connell argues, is just as crucial as distributive justice. Considering race, class, and gender issues, he examines the relation between knowledge and its social content. He describes how curricular content, presentation, and means of student assessment can perpetuate social injustice. Tracing the elitist sources of various curricula, Schools and Social Justice urges reconceptualizing the curriculum from the point of view of the disadvantaged and offers examples of successful efforts to do this.
Luigi Taparelli, SJ, 1793-1862, in his Theoretical Treatise of Natural Right Based on Fact, 1840-43, presents a neo-Thomistic approach to social, economic, and political sciences grounded in an integral conception of the human person as social animal but also as rational truth seeker. His conceptions of social justice and of subsidiarity are fundamental to modern Catholic social teaching (CST). His work moves away from traditionalist-conservative reaction in favor of an authentically human, moderately liberal, modernity built on the harmony of faith and reason. He zealously deconstructs laissez-faire liberal ideology and its socialist progeny in scores of articles in the Civiltà Cattolica, the journal that he co-founded in 1850. His arguments figure prominently in the Syllabus of Errors (1864) of Pius IX. Though a moderate liberal himself, his reputation as anti-liberal reactionary and defender of Papal temporal sovereignty is the chief reason why Pope Leo XIII later sought to quiet Taparelli’s contribution to the foundations and pillars of modern CST that began with the restoration of Thomistic philosophy in Aeterni Patris (1879), and the “magna carta” of modern Catholic social teaching, Rerum Novarum (1891). Pius XI relies heavily on Taparelli’s concept of subsidiarity in Quadragesimo Anno (1931), and sought to advance interest in Taparelli studies. However, Taparelli’s eclectic philosophical orientation and writing style have been a considerable stumbling block. In this present book, Taparelli’s ideas are evaluated both for their philosophical character but also in their historical context. Taparelli’s theories of the just society and ordered liberty, are as timely nowadays for reasoned political and ethical discourse as ever. The book includes an appendix of translated portions of the Theoretical Treatise of Natural Right Based on Fact that relate to subsidiarity.
American suburbs have been seen as both exclusive idylls for elites as well as crucibles for new ideologies of gender, class, race, and property. But few have considered what the growing diversity of suburban America has meant for progressive social, economic, and political justice movements. Social Justice in Diverse Suburbs is a pioneering and multidisciplinary volume that reassesses commonplace understandings of suburban activism.
Editor Christopher Niedt and his contributors shed light on organizing and conflict in the suburbs with historical and contemporary case studies. Chapters address topical issues ranging from how suburbanites actively fought school segregation to industrial pollution and displacement along the suburban-rural fringe. Social Justice in Diverse Suburbs also considers struggles for integration and environmental justice as well as efforts to preserve suburban history and organize immigrant communities.
Contributors include: Douglas R. Appler, Aaron Cavin, Nancy A. Denton, Lisa Feldstein, Casey Gallagher, Anne Galletta, Joseph Gibbons, Robert Gioielli, Lucas Owen Kirkpatrick, JoAnna Mitchell-Brown, Manuel Pastor, john a. powell, Jason Reece, Alex Schafran, June Williamson, and the editor.
An eye for an eye, the balance of scales--for centuries, these and other traditional concepts exemplified the public's perception of justice. Today, popular culture, including television shows like Law and Order, informs the public's vision. But do age-old symbols, portrayals in the media, and existing systems truly represent justice in all of its nuanced forms, or do we need to think beyond these notions?
In Social Justice: Theories, Issues, and Movements, Loretta Capeheart and Dragan Milovanovic respond to the need for a comprehensive introduction to this topic. The authors argue that common conceptions of criminal justice--which accept, for the most part, a politically established definition of crime--are too limited. Instead, they show the relevancy of history, political economy, culture, critique, and cross-cultural engagement to the advancement of justice.
Drawing on contemporary issues ranging from globalization to the environment, this essential textbook--ideal for course use--encourages practitioners, reformists, activists, and scholars to question the limits of the law in its present state in order to develop a fairer system at the local, national, and global levels.
An eye for an eye, the balance of the scales – for centuries, these and other traditional concepts exemplified the public’s perception of justice. Today, popular culture, including television shows like Law and Order, informs the public’s vision. But do age-old symbols, portrayals in the media, and existing systems truly represent justice in all of its nuanced forms, or do we need to think beyond these notions? The second edition of Social Justice: Theories, Issues, and Movements responds to the need for a comprehensive introduction to these issues.
Theories of social justice are presented in an accessible fashion to encourage engagement of students, activists, and scholars with these important lines of inquiry. Issues are analyzed utilizing various theories for furthering engagement in possibilities. Struggles for justice -- from legal cases to on the ground movements -- are presented for historical context and to inform the way forward.
Soul Power is a cultural history of those whom Cynthia A. Young calls “U.S. Third World Leftists,” activists of color who appropriated theories and strategies from Third World anticolonial struggles in their fight for social and economic justice in the United States during the “long 1960s.” Nearly thirty countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America declared formal independence in the 1960s alone. Arguing that the significance of this wave of decolonization to U.S. activists has been vastly underestimated, Young describes how literature, films, ideologies, and political movements that originated in the Third World were absorbed by U.S. activists of color. She shows how these transnational influences were then used to forge alliances, create new vocabularies and aesthetic forms, and describe race, class, and gender oppression in the United States in compelling terms.
Young analyzes a range of U.S. figures and organizations, examining how each deployed Third World discourse toward various cultural and political ends. She considers a trip that LeRoi Jones, Harold Cruse, and Robert F. Williams made to Cuba in 1960; traces key intellectual influences on Angela Y. Davis’s writing; and reveals the early history of the hospital workers’ 1199 union as a model of U.S. Third World activism. She investigates Newsreel, a late 1960s activist documentary film movement, and its successor, Third World Newsreel, which produced a seminal 1972 film on the Attica prison rebellion. She also considers the L.A. Rebellion, a group of African and African American artists who made films about conditions in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. By demonstrating the breadth, vitality, and legacy of the work of U.S. Third World Leftists, Soul Power firmly establishes their crucial place in the history of twentieth-century American struggles for social change.
Sprawl Repair Manual
Galina Tachieva Island Press, 2010 Library of Congress HT384.U5T33 2010 | Dewey Decimal 307.1214
There is a wealth of research and literature explaining suburban sprawl and the urgent need to retrofit suburbia. However, until now there has been no single guide that directly explains how to repair typical sprawl elements. The Sprawl Repair Manual demonstrates a step-by-step design process for the re-balancing and re-urbanization of suburbia into more sustainable, economical, energy- and resource-efficient patterns, from the region and the community to the block and the individual building. As Galina Tachieva asserts in this exceptionally useful book, sprawl repair will require a proactive and aggressive approach, focused on design, regulation and incentives. The Sprawl Repair Manual is a much-needed, single-volume reference for fixing sprawl, incorporating changes into the regulatory system, and implementing repairs through incentives and permitting strategies. This manual specifies the expertise that’s needed and details the techniques and algorithms of sprawl repair within the context of reducing the financial and ecological footprint of urban growth.
The Sprawl Repair Manual draws on more than two decades of practical experience in the field of repairing and building communities to analyze the current pattern of sprawl development, disassemble it into its elemental components, and present a process for transforming them into human-scale, sustainable elements. The techniques are illustrated both two- and three-dimensionally, providing users with clear methodologies for the sprawl repair interventions, some of which are radical, but all of which will produce positive results.
Fringe Benefits, an award-winning theatre company, collaborates with schools and communities to create plays that promote constructive dialogue about diversity and discrimination issues. Staging Social Justice is a groundbreaking collection of essays about Fringe Benefits’ script-devising methodology and their collaborations in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. The anthology also vividly describes the transformative impact of these creative initiatives on participants and audiences. By reflecting on their experiences working on these projects, the contributing writers—artists, activists and scholars—provide the readerwith tools and inspiration to create their own theatre for social change.
“Contributors to this big-hearted collection share Fringe Benefits’ play devising process, and a compelling array of methods for measuring impact, approaches to aesthetics (with humor high on the list), coalition and community building, reflections on safe space, and acknowledgement of the diverse roles needed to apply theatre to social justice goals. The book beautifully bears witness to both how generative Fringe Benefits’ collaborations have been for participants and to the potential of engaged art in multidisciplinary ecosystems more broadly.”—Jan Cohen-Cruz, editor of Public: A Journal of Imagining America
For the past few decades, the U.S. anti-sweatshop movement was bolstered by actions from American college students. United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) effectively advanced the cause of workers’ rights in sweatshops around the world. Strategizing against Sweatshops chronicles the evolution of student activism and presents an innovative model of how college campuses are a critical site for the advancement of global social justice.
Matthew Williams shows how USAS targeted apparel companies outsourcing production to sweatshop factories with weak or non-existent unions. USAS did so by developing a campaign that would support workers organizing by leveraging their college’s partnerships with global apparel firms like Nike and Adidas to abide by pro-labor codes of conduct.
Strategizing against Sweatshops exemplifies how organizations and actors cooperate across a movement to formulate a coherent strategy responsive to the conditions in their social environment. Williams also provides a model of political opportunity structure to show how social context shapes the chances of a movement’s success—and how movements can change that political opportunity structure in turn. Ultimately, he shows why progressive student activism remains important.
At the center of pluralistic societies like the United States is the question of how to make broadly consensual social policy in light of the different moral values held by a heterogeneous population varying in ethnicity, sexual identity, religion, and political belief. In Thick Moralities, Thin Politics Benjamin Gregg develops a new approach to dealing with conflicting values in the policymaking process. Arguing that public policy suffers when politics are laden with moral doctrines, Gregg contends that "thickly" moral public philosophies cannot be the basis of a successful political process. He offers a "thin" model of political decision-making which brackets moral questions (within the public sphere), deliberately working around them whenever possible—not toward political consensus, but rather the more realistic goal of mutual accommodation.
Thick Moralities, Thin Politics grapples with the work of theorists from both sides of the Atlantic, including Jürgen Habermas, Anthony Giddens, and Niklas Luhmann, as well as George Herbert Mead, Erving Goffman, and Harold Garfinkel. Gregg develops a model of validity for arguments made in the public sphere, for understanding among competing worldviews, and for adjudicating disputes generated by normative differences. He applies his theory of politics to specific issues of contemporary social life, including those relating to the place of women, minorities, and multiculturalism in American and European society today. He also addresses the scientific study of religion, issues of legal interpretation, and the critique of ideology, in each case illuminating how different epistemic systems, as well as competing value systems, can achieve some understanding of one another. Gregg demonstrates, ultimately, that thin politics actually further, rather than reduce, citizens' engagement in the political process.
“To Love the Wind and the Rain” is a groundbreaking and vivid analysis of the relationship between African Americans and the environment in U.S. history. It focuses on three major themes: African Americans in the rural environment, African Americans in the urban and suburban environments, and African Americans and the notion of environmental justice. Meticulously researched, the essays cover subjects including slavery, hunting, gardening, religion, the turpentine industry, outdoor recreation, women, and politics. “To Love the Wind and the Rain” will serve as an excellent foundation for future studies in African American environmental history.
In this lively, thought-provoking study, AnaLouise Keating writes in the traditions of radical U.S. women-of-color feminist/womanist thought and queer studies, inviting us to transform how we think about identity, difference, social justice and social change, metaphysics, reading, and teaching. Through detailed investigations of women of color theories and writings, indigenous thought, and her own personal and pedagogical experiences, Keating develops transformative modes of engagement that move through oppositional approaches to embrace interconnectivity as a framework for identity formation, theorizing, social change, and the possibility of planetary citizenship. Speaking to many dimensions of contemporary scholarship, activism, and social justice work, Transformation Now! calls for and enacts innovative, radically inclusionary ways of reading, teaching, and communicating.
Focusing on contemporary issues, this text showcases a large collection of regional poets laureate writing on subjects critical to understanding social justice as it relates to the Great Lakes region. Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice includes writing by seventy-eight poets who truly represent the diversity of the Great Lakes region, including Rita Dove, Marvin Bell, Crystal Valentine, Kimberly Blaeser, Mary Weems, Karen Kovacik, Wendy Vardaman, Zora Howard, Carla Christopher, Meredith Holmes, Karla Huston, Joyce Sutphen, and Laren McClung, among others. City, state, and national poets laureate with ties to Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin appear in these pages, organized around themes from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide,” calling on readers to act on behalf of victims of social injustice.
#MeToo. #BlackLivesMatter. #NeverAgain. #WontBeErased. Though both the right- and left-wing media claim “objectivity” in their reporting of these and other contentious issues, the American public has become increasingly cynical about truth, fact, and reality. In The View from Somewhere, Lewis Raven Wallace dives deep into the history of “objectivity” in journalism and how its been used to gatekeep and silence marginalized writers as far back as Ida B. Wells.
At its core, this is a book about fierce journalists who have pursued truth and transparency and sometimes been punished for it—not just by tyrannical governments but by journalistic institutions themselves. He highlights the stories of journalists who question “objectivity” with sensitivity and passion: Desmond Cole of the Toronto Star; New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse; Pulitzer Prize-winner Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah; Peabody-winning podcaster John Biewen; Guardian correspondent Gary Younge; former Buzzfeed reporter Meredith Talusan; and many others. Wallace also shares his own experiences as a midwestern transgender journalist and activist who was fired from his job as a national reporter for public radio for speaking out against “objectivity” in coverage of Trump and white supremacy.
With insightful steps through history, Wallace stresses that journalists have never been mere passive observers—the choices they make reflect worldviews tinted by race, class, gender, and geography. He upholds the centrality of facts and the necessary discipline of verification but argues against the long-held standard of “objective” media coverage that asks journalists to claim they are without bias. Using historical and contemporary examples—from lynching in the nineteenth century to transgender issues in the twenty-first—Wallace offers a definitive critique of “objectivity” as a catchall for accurate journalism. He calls for the dismissal of this damaging mythology in order to confront the realities of institutional power, racism, and other forms of oppression and exploitation in the news industry.
Now more than ever, journalism that resists extractive, exploitive, and tokenistic practices toward marginalized people isn’t just important—it is essential. Combining Wallace’s intellectual and emotional journey with the wisdom of others’ experiences, The View from Somewhere is a compelling rallying cry against journalist neutrality and for the validity of news told from distinctly subjective voices.
The Westside Slugger is the powerful story of civil rights in Las Vegas and Nevada through the eyes and experience of Joe Neal, a history-making state lawmaker in Nevada. Neal rose from humble beginnings in Mound, Louisiana, during the Great Depression to become the first African American to serve in the Nevada State Senate.
Filled with an intense desire for education, he joined the United States Air Force and later graduated from Southern University—studying political science and the law at a time of great upheaval in the racial status quo. As part of a group of courageous men, Neal joined a Department of Justice effort to register the first black voters in Madison Parish.
When Neal moved to southern Nevada in 1963 he found the Silver State to be every bit as discriminatory as his former Louisiana home. As Neal climbed through the political ranks, he used his position in the state senate to speak on behalf of the powerless for more than thirty years. He took on an array of powerful opponents ranging from the Clark County sheriff to the governor of the state, as well as Nevada’s political kingmakers and casino titans. He didn’t always succeed—he lost two runs for governor—but he never stopped fighting. His successes included improved rights for convicted felons and greater services for public education, mental health, and the state’s libraries. He also played an integral role in improving hotel fire safety in the wake of the deadly MGM Grand fire and preserving the pristine waters of Lake Tahoe, which brought him national attention.
Neal lived a life that personified what is right, just, and fair. Pushing through racial and civil rights hurdles and becoming a lifelong advocate for social justice, his dedication and determination are powerful reminders to always fight the good fight and never stop swinging.
By foregrounding the ways that human existence is bound together with the lives of other entities, contemporary cultural theorists have sought to move beyond an anthropocentric worldview. Yet as Eva Haifa Giraud contends in What Comes after Entanglement?, for all their conceptual power in implicating humans in ecologically damaging practices, these theories can undermine scope for political action. Drawing inspiration from activist projects between the 1980s and the present that range from anticapitalist media experiments and vegan food activism to social media campaigns against animal research, Giraud explores possibilities for action while fleshing out the tensions between theory and practice. Rather than an activist ethics based solely on relationality and entanglement, Giraud calls for what she describes as an ethics of exclusion, which would attend to the entities, practices, and ways of being that are foreclosed when other entangled realities are realized. Such an ethics of exclusion emphasizes foreclosures in the context of human entanglement in order to foster the conditions for people to create meaningful political change.
In this engaging and lively book, Stephen Hart paints a rich portrait of how everyday Christians connect their faith to political issues like economic equality, government intervention, and the rights of private enterprise. Drawing on interviews with forty-seven "ordinary" Christians--Roman Catholics, Evangelical and Pentecostal Protestants, mainline Protestants, and others--Hart argues that Christians do not always learn a conservative political perspective from their religion, as is often the stereotype. Rather, Christian traditions provide a reservoir of resources that supports such varied values as equality, community, individuality, and freedom. Hart profiles these individuals and allows them to explain in their own words how they use these values to formulate views on social justice issues, supporting political positions ranging from left to right. Hart also provides a new way of understanding how religion affects public discourse. This first paperback edition includes a new analysis of recent trends in religious politics, including the religious right and religiously-based movements for peace and justice.
A longtime agitator against war and social injustice, Lawrence Wittner has been tear-gassed, threatened by police with drawn guns, charged by soldiers with fixed bayonets, spied upon by the U.S. government, arrested, and purged from his job for political -reasons. To say that this teacher-historian-activist has led an interesting life is a considerable understatement.
In this absorbing memoir, Wittner traces the dramatic course of a life and career that took him from a Brooklyn boyhood in the 1940s and ’50s to an education at Columbia University and the University of Wisconsin to the front lines of peace activism, the fight for racial equality, and the struggles of the labor movement. He details his family background, which included the bloody anti-Semitic pogroms of late-nineteenth-century Eastern Europe, and chronicles his long teaching career, which comprised positions at a small black college in Virginia, an elite women’s liberal arts college north of New York City, and finally a permanent home at the Albany campus of the State University of New York. Throughout, he packs the narrative with colorful vignettes describing such activities as fighting racism in Louisiana and Mississippi during the early 1960s, collaborating with peace-oriented intellectuals in Gorbachev’s Soviet Union, and leading thousands of antinuclear demonstrators through the streets of Hiroshima. As the book also reveals, Wittner’s work as an activist was matched by scholarly achievements that made him one of the world’s foremost authorities on the history of the peace and nuclear disarmament movements—a research specialty that led to revealing encounters with such diverse figures as Norman Thomas, the Unabomber, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Caspar Weinberger, and David Horowitz.
A tenured professor and renowned author who has nevertheless lived in tension with the broader currents of his society, Lawrence Wittner tells an engaging personal story that includes some of the most turbulent and significant events of recent history.
Lawrence S. Wittner, emeritus professor of history at the University at Albany, SUNY, is the author of numerous scholarly works, including the award-winning three-volume Struggle Against the Bomb. Among other awards and honors, he has received major grants or fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Aspen Institute, the United States Institute of Peace, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
In the aftermath of armed conflict, how do new generations of young people learn about peace, justice, and democracy? Michelle J. Bellino describes how, following Guatemala’s civil war, adolescents at four schools in urban and rural communities learn about their country’s history of authoritarianism and develop civic identities within a fragile postwar democracy.
Through rich ethnographic accounts, Youth in Postwar Guatemala, traces youth experiences in schools, homes, and communities, to examine how knowledge and attitudes toward historical injustice traverse public and private spaces, as well as generations. Bellino documents the ways that young people critically examine injustice while shaping an evolving sense of themselves as civic actors. In a country still marked by the legacies of war and division, young people navigate between the perilous work of critiquing the flawed democracy they inherited, and safely waiting for the one they were promised...