Social Justice

Social Justice comprises the disciplines of equality studies and women’s studies. Our aim is to promote social justice both locally and globally, using interdisciplinary, feminist and egalitarian approaches to teaching and research. 

Equality Studies

Equality Studies is unique. Unlike other academic fields, it examines social justice and human rights issues that affect all social groups and arise in multiple contexts.

Our teaching is inspired by Paulo Freire's insight that education can work for liberation. We also believe that research cannot be neutral in the face of injustice. Because of this Equality Studies is devoted to linking theoretical perspectives on equality with the practice of change. We recognise also that change cannot be achieved through the production of knowledge in isolation from experience; transformative scholarship needs to be vivified and challenged by the experiential knowledge of those who experience injustice and oppression. To this end, our programmes and the UCD Equality Studies Centre maintain strong links with social movements both in Ireland and internationally. Our graduates are activists for equality and social justice across the world.

Women and Gender Studies

Key Research Areas: Widely recognised for its expertise on gender, equality, and public policy; sexualities and social change; oral history; pedagogical debate and policy, the Centre’s research encompasses a wide range of areas of interest, including:

  • Women, gender and public policy

  • Contemporary feminist, gender and equality politics

  • Gendered bodies and reproductive justice

  • Women, public participation and decision-making

  • Poverty, social inclusion and social change

  • Women, adult and further education

  • LGBT theories and histories

  • Gender and sexualities

  • Irish women’s history studies

Women and gender have been the focus of funded research in the School which has been funded to conduct research in areas of gender and economic, social and educational policy in particular. Organisations which have commissioned research include: EU Daphne Programmes II and III; EU Equality and Anti-discrimination Units; Equality Authority; Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Gender Equality Unit of the Department of Education; Crisis Pregnancy Agency; North East Regional Planning Committee on Violence Against Women.