Drama and Social Justice: Theory, research and practice in international contexts, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Drama and Social Justice

Theory, research and practice in international contexts, 1st Edition

Edited by Kelly Freebody, Michael Finneran


192 pages

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"This text offers a cohesive framework for exploring social justice through drama and drama from a social justice perspective. Research based examples of practice from a range of international contexts link theory and practice. Connecting chapters raise key critical questions in an engaging dialogue format. An important addition to the literature on social justice education." - Lee Anne Bell, author Storytelling for Social Justice (2010) and co-editor of Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice (Routledge, 2007)

Much has been written within the tradition of drama education and applied theatre around the premise that drama can be a force for change within both individual lives and society more broadly. However, little has been published in terms of charting the nature of this relationship. By combining theoretical, historical and practical perspectives, this book unpacks and explores drama’s intrinsically entwined relationship with society more comprehensively and critically.

Chapters gather together and develop a range of theoretical understandings of social justice in applied drama in the first part of the book, which are then used to frame and inform more focused discussions of drama research and practice in the second. Contributors move beyond practical understandings of drama for empowerment or development in order to engage with the philosophy of praxis – the interconnected and symbiotic nature of theory derived from practice, and practice derived from theory. Including concrete examples from current research and practice in the field, the book opens up a conversation on and counter-narrative to perceptions of the nature and impact of applied theatre and drama education on social justice.

Drama and Social Justice will be key reading for postgraduate students, academics, researchers and field-based practitioners in the areas of applied drama and theatre, education and youth work, and social justice and the social sciences.

Table of Contents

Drama and Social Justice: An Introduction Kelly Freebody and Michael Finneran Part One Critical Issues and Intersections: Part 1 Kelly Freebody and Michael Finneran. Tensions and Mythologies in the Liminal Space between Drama and Social Justice Michael Finneran and Kelly Freebody. Democratic and Participatory Theatre for Social Justice: There Has Never Been a Famine in a Democracy. But There Will BeJonothan Neelands. Exploring Emotion in Participatory Drama about Social Justice: A Case Study of Creon’s Decree Penny Bundy, Julie Dunn and Madonna Stinson. Responsible Art and Unequal Societies: Towards a Theory of Drama and the Justice Agenda Kathleen Gallagher Part Two Critical Issues and Intersections: Part 2 Michael Finneran and Kelly Freebody. Drama in Schools: Agency, Community and the Classroom Caitlin Munday, Michael Anderson, Robyn Gibson and Andrew Martin. Looking Back, Moving Forward: Drama, Disability and Social Justice Andy Kempe and Sonali Shah. Towards Bethlehem: The Indra Congress David Oddie and Tim Prentki. Becoming Curious about Coventry: A Journey in Cross-cultural, Cross-institutional Drama Practice Rachel King and Hannah Grainger Clemson. When Hope and History Rhyme: Resistance through Drama Education Peter O’Connor. Applied Theatre, Social Media and Glocalisation: C&T at Work with Child Peace Kenya, Nairobi Paul Sutton. Playing at Being Another We: Using Drama as a Pedagogical Tool within a Gender Rights and Sexuality Education Program Helen Cahill. Fluorescent Raincoat into Yellow Umbrella: Social Responsibility as Embodied Experience Chan, Yuk-lan Phoebe. Conclusion Michael Finneran and Kelly Freebody.

About the Editors

Kelly Freebody is Senior Lecturer and Program Director of the Combined Degrees in Education in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, Australia. Her research interests include applied drama, social justice, teacher education and school-community relationships.

Michael Finneran is Senior Lecturer in Drama and Director of the Centre for Contemporary and Applied Theatre at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland. His research interests include applied drama, social justice, contemporary performance, teacher education and curriculum policy.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Education

This series aims to present the latest research from right across the field of education. It is not confined to any particular area or school of thought and seeks to provide coverage of a broad range of topics, theories and issues from around the world.

Please send inquiries or proposals for this series to one of the following:

Will Bateman: [email protected] – Editor, UK and Rest of World

Elsbeth Wright: [email protected] – Editor, North & South America

Vilija Stephens: [email protected] – Editor, Australia & New Zealand

Katie Peace: [email protected] – Publisher, Asia


Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
DRAMA / General
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Arts & Humanities
EDUCATION / Research