Human geography - cultural, economic, political, and social - is inherently concerned with social justice and injustice. So also are the associated fields of urban and regional analysis and planning: being born in one country, region or one part of a particular city many, for example, be the single most important factor in an individual's health, education, and longevity. It is clear that in every nation, including present and former socialist societies, wealth and privilege are unevenly divided. But would an equal division of resources really be preferable from a moral point of view? Is it even possible to propound universal prescriptions of what is socially just? or to talk about universal rights in a world in which different kinds of people (according to class, gender, race, and religion) are treated so differently in different places? Such questions are far from simple. In this book David Smith, one of the world's leading geographical thinkers, throws incisive light upon them. He proceeds first by providing a critical and accessible review of relevant issues in social and moral philosophy, in particular the contrasting claims of different theories of social justice, and the nature of rights and needs. He examines John Rawls's proposition that inequality can be justified to the extent that it benefits the worst-off; and he considers how far justice may or should be seen as a process for equalization or of returning to equality, in the face of persistent and widespread inequality. The author then applied theoretical perspectives to case studies. These are based on his own first-hand research, and cover racial injustice in the American South, inequality under socialism and its aftermath in eastern Europe, and the porspects for social justice in post-apartheid South Africa. David Smith examines the plight of those peoples who have no secure place or defined territory, focussing on the conflicting claims of the Palestinians and the Israelis. Finally he draws together elements of theory and experience to present trenchantly argued conclusions on the justice of market-led society, the ends of egalitarianism, and the universality of just principles. By both precept and example he shows the central contribution that geographers can make to the understanding of social justice in a complex and rapidly changing world.
The rise of critical discourses in the discipline of geography has opened up new avenues for social justice. Geography and Social Justice in the Classroom brings together contemporary research in geography and fresh thinking about geography’s place in the social studies curriculum. The book’s main purposes are to introduce teachers and teacher educators to new research in geography, and to provide theoretical and practical examples of geography in the curriculum. The book begins with the premise that power and inequality often have spatial landscapes. With the tools and concepts of geography, students can develop a critical geographic literacy to explore the spatial expressions of power in their lives, communities, and the wider world. The first half of the book introduces new research in the field of geography on diverse topics including the social construction of maps as instruments of power and authority. The second half of the book turns the readers’ attention to geography in the P-12 classroom, and it highlights how geography can enable teachers and students to explore issues of power and social justice in the classroom. Through critical geographic literacy, educators can boldly position themselves and their students as advocates for a more just world.
What is the relationship between the principles of social justice and global justice? How can we best reconcile the quest for greater social justice ‘at home' with greater social justice in the world? Are the social justice pressures our societies currently face the result of globalisation or are they domestically generated? How can we advance social justice in the light of the new social realities? In this volume, leading international experts offer compelling answers to these questions. The aim of this volume is to articulate a modern conception of social justice that remains relevant for an era of rapid globalisation. The authors have developed a robust theoretical account of the relationship between globalisation and social justice complemented by an underpinning policy framework that aims to sustain new forms of equity and solidarity.
While there is no shortage of of books on the environment there are few introductory texts that outline the social theory that informs human geographical approaches to the interactions between ecology and society. Students arriving at university often lack the understanding of history, economics, politics, sociology and philosophy that contemporary human geography requires. Environments in a Changing World addresses this deficit, providing foundation knowledge in a form that is accessible to first year students and applied to the understanding of both contemporary environmental issues and the challenge of sustainability. Students are challenged to develop and defend their own ethical and political positions on sustainability and respond to the need for new forms of ecological citizenship.
Energy justice is one of the most critical, and yet least developed, concepts associated with sustainability. Much has been written about the sustainability of low-carbon energy systems and policies - with an emphasis on environmental, economic and geopolitical issues. However, less attention has been directed at the social and equity implications of these dynamic relations between energy and low-carbon objectives - the complexity of injustice associated with whole energy systems (from extractive industries, through to consumption and waste) that transcend national boundaries and the social, political-economic and material processes driving the experience of energy injustice and vulnerability. Drawing on a substantial body of original research from an international collaboration of experts this unique collection addresses energy poverty, just innovation, aesthetic justice and the justice implications of low-carbon energy systems and technologies. The book offers new thinking on how interactions between climate change, energy policy, and equity and social justice can be understood and develops a critical agenda for energy justice research.
This text is an introduction to the study of towns and cities. The book synthesizes a wealth of material to provide a comprehensive introduction for students of urban geography, drawing on a rich blend of theoretical and empirical information, to advance their knowledge of the city. For the first time in the history of humankind, urban dwellers outnumber rural residents and this trend is destined to continue. Urban places, towns and cities are of fundamental importance: for the distribution of population within countries; in the organization of economic production, distribution and exchange; in the structuring of social reproduction and cultural life; and in the allocation and exercise of power. Even those living beyond the administrative or functional boundaries of a town or city, will have their lifestyle influenced to some degree by a nearby or distant city.
The emphasis of this book is to explore two major philosophical influences in contemporary human geography, namely logical positivism and Marxism, and to explore the relationships between philosophy, methodology and geographical research. Rather than being a biography of David Harvey, the book contributes to the understanding of one of the most innovative and iconoclastic scholars in contemporary Anglo-American human geography.
Globalization, Human Rights and the Future of Democracy
Author: J. Shefner
Can universities continue to play a major role in advancing social justice today? This volume illuminates key aspects of social justice as a theoretical project and as a set of practical challenges. Authors address related issues from the perspectives of active practitioners in the context of or from close proximity to universities.