1. Introduction to Gender & Social Justice

“Social justice is not a stable state to be achieved, but instead is a way of thinking and governing that prioritizes the elusive and shifting goals of fairness, equality, and inclusion” 

Dr. Janine Brodie in her 2012 lecture, “Social Literacy and Social Justice in Times of Crisis”

“Via Bramante” by Marco Pelà is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.

Have you ever heard someone say they are invested in “social justice” and wondered what, exactly, they meant? The term “social justice” is often used but rarely defined. What is “social” about social justice? How are social visions justice different than, for example, legal notions of justice? In this module, we will reflect on what it means to study social justice by defining the concept and situating it in historical context. We will begin, first, by situating our study of gender and social justice on Treaty 6 territory, reflecting upon the question of whether social justice is possible in the context of broken treaty relationships. We will also learn a bit about the field of Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) and its relationship to women’s movements and social justice.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

  • Explain why thinking about Treaty 6 is important to the study of gender and social justice
  • Define social justice and locate the concept in historical context
  • Describe the emergence of the field of Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) in the context of the women’s movement in Canada
  • Explain why WGS scholars study gender and social justice as related concepts
  • Explain the relationship between theory and practice in WGS
  • Decide whether you will apply for the Community Service Learning (CSL) stream

Moving Forward

Each module contains a big idea + lesson, assigned resources, and a summary page. Visit each section below by clicking or tapping the images and finish the assigned activities to complete this module!

Note: You do not need to follow all of the hyperlinks in written lessons. These are provided for your interest, but hyperlinks are not required reading. Required readings are available in the assigned resources section, and on eClass.




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