The Future of Social Justice: Paradigm Proliferation
At the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century, it is time to move forward. It is time to explore new discourses. We need to find new ways of connecting persons and their personal troubles with social justice methodologies. We need to become better accomplished in linking these interventions to those institutional sites where troubles are turned into public issues and public issues transformed into social policy. (Denzin & Lincoln, 2011, p. ix)
We hope the seven methodological approaches presented here outline the possibility for change when a social justice paradigm is combined with qualitative inquiry. One of our underlying goals is to illustrate that social inequities can be addressed in productive ways and that change can come from anywhere, especially from the bottom up. As a result, we ALL are capable of, and therefore responsible for, making our world a better place. Qualitative inquiry is an important part of change as it enables us to connect “to the hopes, needs, goals, and promises of a free democratic society” (Denzin & Lincoln, 2011, p. 3). Although the role for qualitative inquiry in creating positive social change has not always been clear, today “qualitative researchers [are] able to understand the connection between social science writ broadly and the quest for better policy, for a more just and democratic society, for a more egalitarian distribution of goods and services” (Lincoln & Denzin, 2011, p. 716). Whereas in the past critical perspectives were in some cases simply a companion, today that has changed, and qualitative inquiry and social justice are a conjoined voice (Lincoln & Denzin, 2011).