My Social Justice Chapter in Studies in Meaning 4

I have a chapter examining social justice from a constructivist perspective in my 2010 co-edited volume, Studies in Meaning 4: Constructivist Perspective on Theory, Practice, and Social Justice. The chapter is intended to offer a constructive critique of the ways social justice is often invoked in the counseling professions. Here is an excerpt that provides an overview of the chapter:

Studies in Meaning 4The idea of social justice, generally speaking, is something everybody finds appealing and agreeable. Further, criticizing social justice perspectives runs the risk of getting one accused of favoring injustice. For these reasons, few have critically scrutinized the philosophical and practical issues arising from the move toward a social justice orientation in counseling and related professions. This chapter employs ideas from constructivism and social constructionism in examining social justice in psychology and counseling. After establishing social justice counseling as a distinct theoretical orientation, a constructivist critique of this orientation is developed. Social justice counseling is criticized as: (1) espousing naïve realism; (2) being theoretically unelaborated; (3) imposing values; (4) being hubristic; and (5) going beyond psychology and counseling’s range of convenience. Social justice counselors are urged to articulate a detailed theoretical approach that restricts its focus of convenience to counseling and demonstrates its utility compared to existing counseling approaches. (Raskin, 2010, p. 248-249)


Raskin, J. D. (2010). Constructing and deconstructing social justice counseling. In J. D. Raskin, S. K. Bridges, & R. A. Neimeyer (Eds.), Studies in meaning 4: Constructivist perspectives on theory, practice, and social justice (pp. 247-276). New York: Pace University Press.

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