Embodied Social Justice  book cover
1st Edition

Embodied Social Justice

ISBN 9781138217706
Published August 15, 2017 by Routledge
158 Pages

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Book Description

Embodied Social Justice introduces a body-centered approach to working with oppression, designed for social workers, counselors, educators, and other human service professionals. Grounded in current research, this integrative approach to social justice works directly with the implicit knowledge of our bodies to address imbalances in social power. Consisting of a conceptual framework, case examples, and a model of practice, Embodied Social Justice integrates key findings from education, psychology, traumatology, and somatic studies while addressing critical gaps in how these fields have understood and responded to everyday issues of social justice.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Part I: Body stories

2. Embodied inquiry

3. Crissy’s body story

4. Pat’s body story

5. Natalie’s body story

6. Zaylie’s body story

7. Rae’s body story

8. Learning from the body stories

Part II: Oppression and embodiment

9. (Un)learning oppression

10. Learning through the body

Part III: Grasping and transforming the embodied experience of oppression

11. The cycle of embodied critical learning and transformation

12. Implications and applications

13. Community resources

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Rae Johnson, Ph.D., RSMT, is a queer-identified social worker, somatic movement therapist, and scholar working at the intersection of somatic studies and social justice. They chair the Somatic Studies in Depth Psychology program at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California.


"Ground-breaking and indispensable for critical and feminist theory, this book provides important new ways of thinking about how bodies are shaped, influenced and colonized within unequal societies. In a time of growing social inequality, the author offers real insights into how we might resist the social, political and cultural changes that are lived through our bodies." - Sherry Shapiro, Professor Emerita, Meredith College, Fulbright Scholar, USA

"Oppression spares no body. The injustices we craft our lives within are both systemic and intimate, taking root in the flesh. Rather than pit the political against the body, Embodied Social Justice reveals their interpenetration, opening up mindful awareness of the life of the political within our very tissues and movements." - Mary Watkins, co-author of Toward Psychologies of Liberation

"A much needed, well written, and profoundly useful book that will help change the course of somatics and social justice work. Through research and first hand stories, the author shows us the effects of oppression on all bodies, then follows up with practical, powerful, and progressive practices that can bring us back home to ourselves." - Christine Caldwell, PhD, BC-DMT, LPC, author of Getting in Touch and founding Chair of the Somatic Counseling Program at Naropa University, USA