Imagination, Action, and Justice: Trends and Possibilities at the Intersection of Organizational Communication and Social Justice

Imagination, Action, and Justice: Trends and Possibilities at the Intersection of Organizational Communication and Social Justice

Tim Huffman (Saint Louis University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2823-4.ch017
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Abstract

Social justice connects to trends in organizational communication scholarship. Some organizational communication traditions engage, explicitly and implicitly, social justice concepts, such as fairness, equity, freedom, structure, and poverty. Drawing on these rich traditions, even more opportunities exist for conducting organizational communication scholarship that promotes justice. This essay articulates how the theory–practice conversation can be forwarded to enable social justice-oriented scholarship. Communication scholarship can do more justice if it is understood as contributing to the “communicative imaginary” as opposed to only developing theory. The communicative imaginary is the splendid array of social possibilities that humans use to create and recreate ways of living together and sharing in one another's lives. Heroism, tragedy, comedy, and beauty are four frames within the communicative imaginary that enable the pursuit of justice. The essay concludes with a reflection on how solidarity can configure scholars' lives in meaningful and just ways.
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Background: What Have We Made Together?

There are many ways to make organized life “better.” Although an improvement anyplace “makes the world better,” taking a social justice orientation means emphasizing the improvements that most positively impact the people whose lives are the hardest. In this section, I outline the connection between key social justice and organizational communication concepts and trends.

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