Detailed chapter summaries appear below.

Detailed chapter summaries appear below.

Chapter 1: How to Engage Constructively in Courses That Take a Critical Social Justice Approach guides students using the book in a course context. We address some of the common challenges and present five guidelines or dispositions that can help ensure a constructive learning experience in the social justice classroom. These guidelines include how to reframe student beliefs and expectations about course grading and assessment.

Chapter 2: Critical Thinking and Critical Theory explains what it

means to think critically about social justice. We explain the theoretical perspective known as Critical Theory and provide a brief sketch of key ideas relevant to our approach. The concept of knowledge construction is introduced. This chapter clarifies the difference between the opinions that readers already hold on a topic and the informed knowledge that we wish to provide and foster. We explain the importance of setting aside one’s opinions and engaging with humility when encountering content that is personally challenging or politically charged.

Chapter 3: Culture and Socialization. This chapter explains what

culture and socialization are and how they work. We introduce the relationship between being an individual and being a member of multiple social groups (such as race, gender, and class). The chapter explains how important it is for us to understand that our ideas, views, and opinions are not objective and independent, but rather the result of myriad social messages and conditioning forces. We take the reader beyond the common conception of parents and families as the sole forces of socialization and describe how other institutions work to form our worldviews. Examples are provided to illustrate the power of socialization and how it works as an unconscious filter shaping our perceptions.

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