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Field Studies in Social Justice: 391-0

Course Type: Variable Credit (1-4 units)

This course will count one credit toward Weinberg Distribution Requirement for Area III: Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Course Description

Social justice is generally defined as the pursuit of just and equal access to resources, privileges, and social status. Conversely, social justice is the process of enacting change to address persistent social inequalities. In this course, we will examine a number of contemporary issues through a social justice lens, and investigate how different modes of action can be employed to address social inequalities. The first half of the course considers several contemporary social justice issues in the Chicago area. We will likely consider the issues of segregation, gentrification and urban development, police violence, and public school funding (these topics are subject to change depending on student interest and scheduling concerns). For each issue, we will discuss recent policies, conflicts, or controversies and place them in historical context. In doing so, we will practice assessing the power relations and social inequalities embedded in each issue. During the second half of the course, we will learn about different forms of collective action that seek to enact structural social change. Specifically, we will consider the ways in which non-profit and advocacy organizations, community organizing, movement politics, and electoral politics are or are not able to address social inequalities. Throughout the course, students will be invited to reflect on the social inequalities and modes of action that they encounter in their internships. Together, the course readings, discussions, and assignments are designed to help students develop the capacity to critically consider social inequalities and different modes of action to address them. 

Instructor:  Justin Zimmerman

Types of Internships that relate to the Field Studies in Social Justice course:

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