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Subject: Introducing Social Analysis

Critical Mind
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Date Posted: 14:58:51 06/29/04 Tue

Based on the work of Paulo Friere in his classic The Pedagogy of the Oppressed, and developed further by Juan Luis Segundo in The Liberation of Theology, an approach to solving social problems has emerged that has four identifiable "moments" in a continually upward spiral:

analysis (social)
reflection (theological)
action (pastoral)
These four steps, when applied to any social problem, whether homeless persons on the street or children whose nightmares stem from television images, provide a method of interpretation that asks: Why are things the way they are? Do they have to be this way?

Often simply called "social analysis" by the social justice community, this method differs from academic social investigation (known as “cultural studies”) by focusing on personal action or planning for change rather than simply understanding the scope of a problem in a detached and abstract manner.

Social analysis requires, in effect, that we "do our homework" to examine the causes and connections of social problems. And going further, to ask ourselves what is demanded of us as members of society or people of faith.

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Subject Author Date
Framework for Social Analysiscoralseadreaming15:01:36 06/29/04 Tue

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