Education and Social Justice

  • Joseph Zajda
  • Suzanne Majhanovich
  • Val Rust

About this book


The book explores the problematic relationship between education, social justice and the State, against the background of comparative education research. Social justice is an attempt to answer the following question: How can we contribute to the creation of a more equitable, respectful, and just society for everyone? The creation of a more equitable, respectful, and just society for everyone is a dream for all empowering and egalitarian pedagogues. But it will remain a mere hollow rhetoric, or magic words, unless we debate more vigorously social inequality in the global culture. The book critiques the existing status quo of stratified school systems, and the unequal disctribution of cultural capital and value added schooling.

By focusing on social justice globally, the authors attempt to answer one of the most pressing questions: Are social, economic and cultural divisions between the nations, between school sectors, between schools and between students growing or declining? The authors, whenever possible, consider and examine current evidence on education and social stratification, attainment gaps by boys and girls from different SES (socio-economic status) backgrounds, the results of school choice policies, differences in school effectiveness, and international comparisons of attainment. The authors, employing the competing discourses of education and social justice, examine and evaluate critically both the reasons and outcomes of education reforms, policy change, with respect to social justice. They provide a more informed critique on the Western-driven models of social justice and equality. By referring to Bourdieu’s call for critical policy analysts to engage in a ‘critical sociology’ and critical pedagogy, the book examines how central discourses surrounding the debate of education and social justice are formed in the contexts of dominant ideology, power, and culturally and historically derived perceptions and practices.


Diversity Gender education education reform educational research quality university

Editors and affiliations

  • Joseph Zajda
    • 1
  • Suzanne Majhanovich
    • 2
  • Val Rust
    • 3
  1. 1.School of EducationAustralian Catholic University (Melbourne Campus)FitzroyAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  3. 3.Social Sciences and Comparative EducationUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Bibliographic information