Exploring Social Justice in
THE SOCIAL SCIENCES
Alemán, S. M. (2014). Locating Whiteness in Journalism Pedagogy. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 31(1), 72–88.
Using a critical whiteness studies lens, this article seeks to identify the rhetorical configurations of whiteness in dominant discourses around diversity in journalism education. Following an observation of two journalism classrooms and an analysis of journalism textbooks traditionally used in these courses, the author identifies the pedagogical strategies used to encourage students to generate news stories in terms of what makes the event ‘newsworthy’. Delimited by predominantly white experiences, Alemán argues that the pedagogy used to teach racial diversity mirrors many of the subversive discursive strategies whites use to essentially obscure white privilege and sabotage racial progress. Existing journalism curriculum thereby leaves a white racial identity un-interrogated and fails to conceptualise whiteness as an ideological system imbued with power.
Anyon, Y., Lechuga, C., Ortega, D., Downing, B., Greer, E., & Simmons, J. (2018). An exploration of the relationships between student racial background and the school sub-contexts of office discipline referrals: a critical race theory analysis. Race, Ethnicity & Education, 21(3), 390–406
In this article, the authors examine the relationship between school disciplines and structural or systemic racism in educational institutions. Merging incident-level school discipline data with student-level demographic variables, the study results indicate that the school spaces in which students of color were at highest risk for an office disciplinary referral was the classroom, and most often from teachers with whom they likely have the most contact on a regular basis. This suggests that systemic biases in discipline policies and practices are greater than the sum of prejudicial decisions made by individual teachers, administrators, and support service providers who have weak relationships with students of color.
Cerezo, A., McWhirter, B. T., Peña, D., Valdez, M., & Bustos, C. (2013). Giving Voice: Utilizing Critical Race Theory to Facilitate Consciousness of Racial Identity for Latina/o College Students. Journal for Social Action in Counseling & Psychology, 5(3), 1–24.
This article describes the development and implementation of the Latina/o Educational Equity Project or LEEP, which is a pilot programme designed to facilitate the growth of a critical consciousness among Latina/o college students in relation to race and racism in Higher Education. Despite being the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S., Latina/o students have the lowest third-level graduation rates in comparison to Asians, Pacific Islanders, Whites, and Black/African-Americans. Moreover, much of the existing literature has tended to focus on the cultural values and familial attachments of Latina/o students rather than the ways in which the institutional contexts and cultural environment of HE works to preclude Latina/o students from graduating. And even less has been done to explore the development of programmes designed to support Latino/a students in these settings. Through LEEP, the authors sought to (a) develop a program grounded in the specific needs of Latina/o students; and (b) ‘give voice’ to community members in the development and delivery of the program. The course contents thusly focused on (i) examinations of race and racism within university structures, practices, and discourses; (ii) challenging the dominant ideology that claims universities are objective, meritocratic, color blind, racially neutral and equal opportunity providers; (iii) commit to social justice and praxis; (iv) honour experiential knowledge from lived experiences; and (v) provide historical context from an interdisciplinary perspective.
Collins, S., & Wilkie, L. (2010). Anti-Oppressive Practice and Social Work Students’ Portfolios in Scotland. Social Work Education, 29(7), 760–777.
In this article, the authors examine 30 content portfolios completed by social work students undertaking their final practice learning opportunity in a postgraduate programme in Scotland. Focusing on individual perceptions of anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice, the authors ask how these commitments manifest in contexts dominated by bureaucracy, high caseloads, strict accountability and lack of resources and time. Moreover, they explore how anti-oppressive approaches may prescribe particular behaviours and attitudes that actually undermine the needs of oppressed groups, by neglecting or appropriating their views of oppression and stripping them of their agency. In the analysis of their findings, Collins & Wilkie indicate that while students referred frequently to issues of power and empowerment, partnerships, social divisions, discrimination, oppression and anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice, they appeared to lack an understanding of what it would mean to challenge oppression structurally and within agency policies. When asked to demonstrate what it would mean to challenge discrimination and oppression, students tended to be vague without giving specific examples. Moreover, whereas references to gender, age, ethnicity, culture, and disability were frequent, religion was only mentioned by four students and terms such as race, racism, and anti-racism were only mentioned by six.