The plural aspect of social justice (A)

In the first lecture of Social justice in education, we as a group had to think about real life examples of scenarios about us-them or us-you –type of situations had been present. The context was in educational institutes, although some examples we came up with happened in the workplace. Interestingly, almost everyone seemed to have an experienced of being “them,” or ”us with little initiative and power,” which might be rephrased to “the experience of being excluded.” However, at the same time, like we discussed on Monday, we have been told many times on various lectures that we as students, are “us” and then there are “others” who are not involved. This mainly points to us students being a part of something that unites us and makes us different from others who are not studying in a university. In this way we also have at least been once in a situation like that.

Through a discussion after the class, we shared our expectation and interest in this course. We found that all of us are interested in the dynamics and structure of the division between “us” and “them,” and also plural aspects of social justice. When it comes to the division, that would, in part, be because we all have ever been swayed by it in some sense, as shown our discussion during the class on Monday.  What everyone mentioned with enthusiasm was about plural aspects of social justice. What is notable is the shared idea that because of the plural aspect of social justice, it is impossible to define what it is.

When you choose your opinion about it, you are straight a way categorised to ”us” or ”them”. It is hard to talk about social justice and being a fair to everybody. As the article states, social justice has different point of views and they are connected to each other or even in tension with one another. The plural aspect of social justice can have different models where differences between recipients have to be taken into consideration or justice can depend on the context of a situation. On that premise, it is better to care about how you should treat such a plural and contextual existing. One of us shared his own experience, where, reading through the article of “Social justice, education and identity” he realized that what he focused on was just a small piece of a big picture. More precisely, he just focused on “recognition aspect” to deal with the topic of social justice because it is the very aspect that affects his life for better or worse. Here, you learn how people can be affected by their own experience and how it can limit their range of view. When a certain topic to discuss has various aspects connecting with each other complicatedly and changeably, people can easily reduce their point of view to one only based on their value created through their personal experience.

Although we could not even overview the whole picture of social justice, only to see how big and complicated it is, it was definitely worth to share the idea about how vulnerable our view can be facing such a difficult topic, to be prepared for a coming discussion in this course.

Group A

112 thoughts on “The plural aspect of social justice (A)”

  1. Thanks, group A!

    I read this post already a week ago, but only now started commenting. This was a very good opening post as you reflected and pondered the topic of the lecture. Your final paragraph really captures the feelings after the first session when the theme is something as massive as ours.

    Looking forward to reading more of your thoughts throughout the course.

    -Iida

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