Social Justice in Present-Day Society: A Multi-Disciplinary Take

Undergraduate Program Status

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Students on-site
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Course Description: 
This course provides a multi-disciplinary whirlwind tour through the core concept of social justice. Blending theoretical perspectives and practical insights, it critically unpacks the concept of social justice, and examines the key issues and debates it raises in today’s society. The first part of the course aims to provide a theoretical introduction into the concept of social justice and how it interacts with and relates to the neighbouring concepts of human rights, citizenship and equality, bringing in insights from law, political philosophy, history, sociology, social psychology and economics. Drawing on this theoretical framework, the second part of the course aims to analyze critically several contemporary challenges in light of the concept of social justice including climate change, abortion, meritocracy, borders and democratic participation. These case studies are based on different disciplinary approaches ranging from the politics and legal practices associated with social justice claims, and the economics and sociology underlying them.
This course has three main objectives. First, unpacking the fundamental concept of social justice and connecting it to the other essential concepts including equality, citizenship and human rights. Second, offering students a cross-disciplinary view of social justice covering authors in social psychology, legal theory, political philosophy, law, history, sociology and economics. Third, learning how to apply the concept of social justice to some contemporary fundamental social issues.
Learning Outcomes: 

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Think the concept of social justice and its articulation with neighboring concepts, especially human rights, citizenship and equality;
  • Recognize and understand major social justice dilemmas in their legal and political contexts in contemporary societies;
  • Formulate relevant research questions in terms of social justice and link them to various disciplinary fields;
  • Write basic academic texts dealing with questions specific to different disciplinary approaches to social justice;
  • Critically engage with and discuss interpretative texts on social justice and identify their methodological frameworks.