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Social Justice Initiative: Resources and Research  

This site supports the UC Davis Mellon Research Initiative “Social Justice, Culture, and (In)Security” by providing a guide to research into both the area of social justice, and on how to conduct research in service of social justice movements
Last Updated: Oct 30, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

What is Social Justice Research? Print Page

Social Justice, Culture, and (In)Security

The UC Davis Mellon Research Initiative “Social Justice, Culture, and (In)Security” was established out of Hart Hall in 2012, following widely and diversely expressed social justice concerns arising from the UC Davis pepper spray incident of November 2011.

The vision of this interdisciplinary project is designed to create intellectual dialogue across multiple contexts and communities with a focus on social justice work.


Key Questions:

1.) What do the interdisciplinary fields of gender, ethnic, and area studies contribute to the pursuit of social justice, and how can these roles be enhanced to strengthen public humanities? What could the combined expertise of feminist and ethnic studies contribute to the realization of community at UC Davis?

2.) The current transformations of the relations between state, market and society are placing new demands on the realization of “family” and “community” and the ongoing struggles for social justice, including gender and sexuality equity. What conventional and new livelihood strategies and forms of organizing are evident in social responses to these reconfigurations?

3.) What are the effects of hegemonic national discourses of security on the institutional cultures of selected institutions?


Books on Social Justice Research Methods

Cover Art
Decolonizing Methodologies - Linda Tuhiwai Smith
Call Number: Shields Reserves Course Reserves GN380 .S65 2012 Two Hour Loan
Publication Date: 2012
Decolonizing Methodologies by Linda Tuhiwai Smith is a classic text in research methodology. To the colonized, the term "research" is conflated with colonialism; academic research steeped in imperialism remains a painful reality. This volume explores intersections of imperialism and research - specifically, the ways in which imperialism is embedded in disciplines of knowledge and tradition as "regimes of truth." Concepts such as "discovery" and "claiming" are discussed and an argument presented that the decolonization of research methods will help to reclaim control over indigenous ways of knowing and being. This edition is substantially revised, with new case studies and examples and important additions on new indigenous literature and the role of research in indigenous struggles for social justice.

Cover Art
Global Dimensions of Qualitative Inquiry - Norman K. Denzin (Editor); Michael D. Giardina (Editor)
Call Number: Shields Library H62 .G527 2013 Regular Loan
Publication Date: 2013
This focused collection addresses the global dynamics of qualitative inquiry and the contextual dimensions within which such inquiry takes place. Contributions focus on the changing landscape of social media, human rights, the Global South, and decolonizing methodologies, and guide the field toward a more engaged, global perspective.

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Indigenous Research Methodologies - Bagele Chilisa
Call Number: Shields Library GN380 .C494 2012 Regular Loan
Publication Date: 2011
Responding to increased emphasis in the classroom and the field on exposing students to diverse epistemologies, methods, and methodologies, Bagele Chilisa has written the first textbook that situates research in a larger, historical, cultural, and global context. With case studies from around the world, the book demonstrates the specific methodologies that are commensurate with the transformative paradigm of research and the historical and cultural traditions of third-world and indigenous peoples.

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Handbook of Feminist Research - Sharlene Nagy Hesse-Biber (Editor)
Call Number: Shields Library HQ1180 .H35 2012 Regular Loan
ISBN: 9781412980593
Publication Date: 2011
This Handbook presents both a theoretical and practical approach to conducting social science research on, for, and about women. It develops an understanding of feminist research by introducing a range of feminist epistemologies, methodologies, and emergent methods that have had a significant impact on feminist research practice and women's studies scholarship.

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Feminist community research : case studies and methodologies - edited by Gillian Creese and Wendy Frisby.
Call Number: Shields Library HM756 .F46 2011 Regular Loan
Publication Date: 2011
Feminist community research is a collaborative, policy-oriented methodology that holds the promise of empowering the disadvantaged and building a more just society. But in the absence of critical analysis and the responsible use of power, this approach can lead to naïve or even harmful practices. Grounded as they are in fieldwork, the interdisciplinary case studies in this volume acknowledge the real methodological and ethical issues that researchers can encounter as they negotiate contested research relationships.

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Black Reflective Sociology - John H. Stanfield II
Call Number: Shields Library E184.7 .S69 2011 Regular Loan
Publication Date: 2011
John H. Stanfield II, the leading contemporary Black sociologist of knowledge, distills decades of his research and thinking in a set of articles that address race in the formation of epistemologies, theories, and methodologies in social science. Stanfield creates a reflective sociology viewed through an African diasporic lens that enriches the thinking and practice of social science.

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Staging Social Justice - Norma Bowles (Editor)
Call Number: Shields Library PN2049 .S48 2013 Regular Loan
Publication Date: 2013
"Staging Social Justice "is a groundbreaking collection of essays which vividly describes the transformative impact of creative performance initiatives on participants and audiences. By reflecting on their experiences working on these projects, artists, activists and scholars--provide the reader with tools and inspiration to create their own theatre for social change.

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Ethnographic Worldviews - Robert Rinehart (Editor); Karen N. Barbour (Editor); Clive C. Pope (Editor)
Call Number: Online
ISBN: 9789400769151
Publication Date: 2013
This book discusses ethnography from the three points of view of Emerging Methodologies, Practice and Advocacy, and Social Justice and Transformation, with an over arching emphasis on researchers' and participants' worldviews.

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Participatory activist research in the globalised world social change through the cultural professions - Hunter, Lisa, Elke Emerald, and Gregory Martin
Call Number: online
ISBN: 9789400744257
Publication Date: 2013
Action research was conceived as a method of collaborative, self-reflective problem-solving in a community context. Yet many believe it has evolved too far away from its original, directly activist roots. As a direct response to calls for a rejuvenation of the social agenda of ’action research’, this volume provides an all-inclusive road map to generating and implementing politically active grass-roots research activities.

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Sociologists in Action - Shelley K. White; Jonathan M. White; Kathleen Odell Korgen
Call Number: Shields Reserves Reserves HM585 .K665 2011 Regular Loan
Publication Date: 2011
This book provides vivid examples of how sociologists are using sociological tools to make a positive impact on our society. The discussion questions and suggested additional readings and resources ground students in the "real world" work of public sociologists.

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Navigating Borders - Ricardo Castro-Salazar; Carl Bagley
Call Number: Shields Library E184.M5 C374 2012 Regular Loan
Publication Date: 2012
In constructing an evocative and powerful counter-narrative the authors show how they ultimately worked with artists of Mexican origin and community organizations to bring the undocumented issue to performative and political life.

Cover Art
Just Methods - Alison M. Jaggar (Editor)
Call Number: Shields Reserves Reserves HQ1180 .J87 2008 Regular Loan
ISBN: 9781594512049
Publication Date: 2007
Feminist research is a growing tradition of inquiry that aims to produce knowledge that is not biased by inequitable assumptions about gender and related categories such as class, race, religion, sexuality, and nationality. Rather than being concerned with particular techniques of inquiry, the interdisciplinary readings in this book address broad questions of research methodology.

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Theories and Methodologies in Post-Graduate Feminist Research - Rosemarie Buikema (Editor); Gabriele Griffin (Editor); Nina Lykke (Editor)
Call Number: Shields Library HQ1180 .T475 2011 Regular Loan
ISBN: 0415888816
Publication Date: 2011
This volume centers on theories and methodologies for postgraduate feminist researchers engaged in interdisciplinary research, in a context of increasing globalization, giving special attention to cutting-edge approaches; at the borders between humanities and social sciences and specific discipline-transgressing fields such as feminist technoscience studies.


Social Justice Initiatives

  • BRIDGE Gender and Social Movements website
    BRIDGE supports gender advocacy and mainstreaming efforts by bridging the gaps between theory, policy and practice.

  • Social Justice Iniative at University Illinois Chicago
    SJI seeks to build upon and foreground a critically important part of our mission as a diverse public research university in a global but often contested city.
  • Activism and the Academy
    This issue of The Scholar and Feminist Online (Barnard Center for Research on Women) reflects on 40 years of feminist social justice work within and, importantly, across academic and activist communities. The contributors to this issue, many of whom—like BCRW itself—exist at the nexus of activism and scholarship, came together around two powerful moments: BCRW’s 2011 conference, “Activism and the Academy: Celebrating 40 Years of Feminist Scholarship and Action” and the 2013 Scholar & Feminist Conference entitled “Utopia.”

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