Intersecting social justices in music education

Document Type

Book Chapter

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Originally Published In

Oxford Handbook of Social Justice in Music Education

Page Numbers



This handbook seeks to present a wide-ranging and comprehensive survey of social justice in music education. Contributors from around the world interrogate the complex, multidimensional, and often contested nature of social justice and music education from a variety of philosophical, political, social, and cultural perspectives. Although many chapters take as their starting point an analysis of how dominant political, educational, and musical ideologies serve to construct and sustain inequities and undemocratic practices, authors also identify practices that seek to promote socially just pedagogy and approaches to music education. These range from those taking place in formal and informal music education contexts, including schools and community settings, to music projects undertaken in sites of repression and conflict, such as prisons, refugee camps, and areas of acute social disadvantage or political oppression. In a volume of this scope, there are inevitably many recurring themes. However, common to many of those music education practices that seek to create more democratic and equitable spaces for musical learning is a belief in the centrality of student agency and a commitment to the too-often silenced voice of the learner. To that end, this Handbook challenges music educators to reflect critically on their own beliefs and pedagogical practices so that they may contribute more effectively to the creation and maintenance of music learning environs and programs in which matters of access and equity are continually brought to the fore.