Impact of social constructs on administrator understanding of social justice
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Educational administrators are expected to relate social justice considerations to their actions and to the theoretical foundations of their practice. At the same time, social constructs-including those related to administrative practice, social justice, and societal norms-are important in helping administrators understand, frame, and describe administrative issues. Furthermore, as part of socially constructed language, these constructs represent discursive practices and accepted ways of knowing, valuing, and experiencing the world. Drawing on the multidimensional methods of critical discourse analysis as articulated in the writings of Michel Foucault, Norman Fairclough, and Allan Luke, and using deconstruction as a strategic device for reading and interpreting texts, this exploratory qualitative study examined how administrator knowledge, values, and experiences impact their understanding of social justice within the context of delivering social justice for students who experience bullying. Study findings reveal that school administrators interpreted social justice as equitable distribution, action, and results; fairness; and equity. Constructs embedded in these interpretations assumed common things such as universal acceptance of norms of social relations and conveyed administrator intent to secure the kind of social relations that enabled individuals to enjoy greater equality within existing social arrangements.