The Goal of Gender Transformation in American Universities: Toward Social Justice for Women in the Academy
Why should a volume on social justice and the university include a chapter about social justice inside the university and for professors? We think there are two reasons. First, many of the intellectuals who have the freedom and luxury to think and write about social justice are university faculty. Tenured faculty live privileged lives within the academy. It is important that we clean up our own backyards as well as focus much needed attention on inequality in the rest of the world. To this end, we will use our space in this chapter to carve out one little question about the justice of universities: How far have universities come in their attempt to become nonsexist, providing faculty with more egalitarian workplaces? The second reason why a book on social justice should include a focus on universities, is that there has been a US governmental initiative to create “institutional gender transformation” on many university campuses. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has been funding ADVANCE grants to help incorporate women into fields in which they are under-represented in science, technology, engineering, and math (the STEM disciplines). Millions of dollars have been spent on gender transformation attempts on campuses around the country. We see this as a sort of test of the possibilities to change workplaces and organizations in feminist directions. How well do we know how to make social change in universities so that they become more egalitarian, even in only one way for a class of privileged workers? When we explicitly try, and devote many resources to the effort, can we move universities toward gender equity?
KeywordsSocial Justice Gender Equity Female Faculty Woman Faculty Promote Social
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