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Social justice : an ethnography of experiences lived and choices made Lane, Penny 2015

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 Social Justice: An Ethnography of Experiences Lived and Choices Made    by   Penny Lane BSc, University of Alberta, 1979 MHSA, University of Alberta, 1983     A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF    DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY  in  THE COLLEGE OF GRADUATE STUDIES  (Interdisciplinary Studies)        THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA  (Okanagan)     August 2015       © Penny Lane, 2015   ii Abstract  My research explores the historical-social-cultural-intersubjective context of the meanings for social justice held by a small group of leaders. Drawing on dialogue theory, I hold a stance in the research that it is in our language and our relationships with ‘others’ that we re-shape and co-create understandings of our social world. In relationship we draw out from one another our lived experiences and moments of dialogue, making visible in them the underlying currents of language that weave in and through our meanings of what is just. This research foregrounds the relational and language processes through which these leaders construct meanings for social justice. Over a six month period, a series of thoughtful conversations were held within a space that was carefully created to foster relationship and trust. By eliciting stories, engaging around questions prompted by deep curiosity, and fostering reflexivity, the processual moves of making meaning for what is socially just were made visible. Key theoretical concepts were drawn from the work of Martin Buber, Paulo Freire, Mikhail Bakhtin, and Hans-Georg Gadamer. The findings these conversations elicited are shared through four landscapes: stories of awakening and deepening awareness of social (in)justice; experiences and choices in acting in socially just ways; the creation of dialogic moments and the practices that foster them; and the language and utterances that contextualize these meanings for social justice. The core premise of my research is that our meanings of social justice are evolving and living constructs and the locus for acting justly is situated in our relationships. This research offers a glimpse into how our search for meanings of social justice dwells in the day-to-day lived experiences of people. Processual practices of meaning making made visible in the research are an ability to create relational space with ‘others,’ an understanding of one’s own deeply held beliefs about one’s self and about ‘others,’ the crossing of social boundaries that bring understanding of diverse perspectives, and a holding open to the ambiguity of contesting language forces.   iii Preface This research was conducted under the Okanagan Campus Behavioural Research Ethics Board (BREB) certificate number H13-02122.  The research process was conducted in partnership with Christine Bonney. Together we designed the research questions, invited the participants into the research process, and co-facilitated the one-on-one conversations and the group teleconferences.  The conversations that comprise the research data were recorded. I am solely responsible for the transcribing of the conversations, the analysis of the research data, and the writing of the dissertation.  The individuals who participated in this research have each been asked to give their consent to the use of their first names. When a pseudonym was requested, that change has been made. The names, therefore, are a mix of real names and pseudonyms. Organizational names and other identifiers have also been changed, removed, or not specified except where specific permission has been provided and when the name is broad enough to maintain anonymity.  iv Table of Contents  Abstract ................................................................................................................................... ii Preface .................................................................................................................................... iii Table of Contents ................................................................................................................... iv Acknowledgements ................................................................................................................ vii Chapter One Introduction ........................................................................................................ 1 Chapter Two Literature Review ............................................................................................ 11 Dialogue Theory ........................................................................................................ 13 In the Context of Social Theory ......................................................................... 13 Key Theorists and Their Contribution ................................................................ 20 Contemporary Dialogue Theory ......................................................................... 34 Social Justice Theorized ............................................................................................ 40 The Context for Human Rights and Social Justice ............................................ 41 Political Philosophy, Social Justice, and Human Rights .................................... 47 Anthropology, Social Justice, and Human Rights .............................................. 56 Corporate Social Responsibility, Social Justice, and Human Rights ................. 64 Literature Review Summary ...................................................................................... 73 Chapter Three Research Approach ...................................................................................... 77 Co-Researcher .................................................................................................. 78 Research Practices .................................................................................................... 79 Participatory Action Research ........................................................................... 80 Narrative ............................................................................................................ 82 Reflexivity .......................................................................................................... 83  v Utterances ......................................................................................................... 84 Sensemaking ..................................................................................................... 85 Research Process ...................................................................................................... 87 Invitation ............................................................................................................ 88 Facilitation .......................................................................................................... 93 Coaching .......................................................................................................... 104 Website for Online Discussion and Journaling ................................................ 106 Research Approach Summary ................................................................................. 107 Chapter Four Stories and Meaning ..................................................................................... 108 Landscape One: Awakenings and Awareness’s ...................................................... 110 Awakening to Social (In)Justice ....................................................................... 112 Deepening Awareness ..................................................................................... 121 Landscape One Summary ............................................................................... 132 Landscape Two: Socially Just Experiences and Choices ........................................ 133 Landscape Two Summary ............................................................................... 163 Landscape Three: Dialogic Moments and Practices ............................................... 164 Fostering Spaces for Dialogic Moments .......................................................... 166 Dialogic Moments ............................................................................................ 172 Landscape Three Summary ............................................................................ 186 Landscape Four: Language, Utterances, and Meanings ......................................... 187 Contesting for Meanings of Social Justice ....................................................... 187 Making Meanings of Social Justice .................................................................. 221 Landscape Four Summary .............................................................................. 241 Stories and Meanings Summary .............................................................................. 244 Chapter Five Conclusion ..................................................................................................... 248 Applications of the Research ................................................................................... 255  vi Future Research ...................................................................................................... 257 References .......................................................................................................................... 259 Appendices ......................................................................................................................... 270 Appendix 1 Documents Supporting the Invitation to Participate in the Research Process ..................................................................................................................... 270 Letter of Invitation to the Research .................................................................. 270 Research Participation Overview ..................................................................... 272 Third Party Letter of Invitation .......................................................................... 274 Appendix 2 Opening Questions for the Research Conversations ........................... 276 Appendix 3 Questions to Prompt On Line Reflections ............................................. 287	     vii Acknowledgements I would like to thank the seven individuals who gave of their time and their stories as they participated in our research. Your stories and words inspired, affirmed, and challenged me throughout the time we spent together and kept me going through the rather lonely journey of writing. I hope I have honoured your words and your experiences. I continue to draw on your courage as I consider carefully my own assumptions and practices of what is just. I also have a heart full of thanks to my research companion and dear friend Christine Bonney. We started this journey filled with questions and uncertainty and one of our most common phrases to each other contained some version of the thought “if it weren’t for you doing this PhD with me, I would not be doing it at all!” Thank you for your encouragement and your ability to ask the questions of me that push me deeper into understanding my own thinking and assumptions. My supervisor Diana French and my committee members, Naomi McPherson and John Burton, have each been critical to my arrival at this point of the academic process. The demands on their time is enormous and yet they made themselves available to me whenever needed and their insights and questions became important touchstones throughout this journey of learning. As a ‘later in life’ doctoral student the academic learning environment can be a challenge. Each of you gave to me the gift of independence, allowing me to explore areas of theory and approaches to research that supported my research questions. For this and everything else I say thank you. I also would like to acknowledge the generous financial support I received from UBCO. The Graduate Entrance Scholarship and the University Graduate Fellowship provided much needed funding and gave me the opportunity to dedicate my time and energies to my studies and research.  viii I have many close friends who have encouraged me in this journey. When many have questioned my sanity in taking on a doctorate at this stage in my life, each of you from the unique place you hold in my life have offered both encouragement and probing questions, along with a safe a place for me to speak out what is spinning around in my mind.  To my family I cannot fully articulate how important your love and support has been to me. To my parents who taught me well, thanks are insufficient. To my husband Larry—you have waited patiently for our season of travelling to arrive while I have pursued something that had always seemed a distant dream for me. Your quiet support and encouragement has been a gift. To our children Rachel, Alysha, and Dave—your continued confidence and faith that I can do this has kept me going. Each of you give me incredible hope for the future as I see in your lives a deep love for what is just. 1 Chapter One Introduction The notion of social justice is one that resonates viscerally for me, as something that is good and noble. Indeed, it seems a concept that most people in their hearts and minds would want to be a part of creating. Those of us born in the latter half of the 20th century have been privileged to live during a period marked by dramatic shifts in our societies’ awareness of human rights and social justice, shifts largely attributed to the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948. There may never have been another time in history in which the unjust acts of human beings against one another have been so intensely theorized, witnessed, documented, and debated. Nor, perhaps, has there previously been a time in which people, nations, and global institutions have been more prepared to address injustices through legal, national and international frameworks, and social movements. The civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, the women’s movement of the 1970s, the fall of apartheid in South Africa, the actions of Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo in Argentina, and the global war on poverty all demonstrate the focus of attention on human rights and social justice (Odinkalu 1999; Ignatieff 2002; Smith and Schaeffer 2004; Johnson 2005).  At the same time, we have continued to witness conflicts and economic and political upheavals around the world in which human rights violations are recounted through reports, narrative, and stories (Cohen 1989; Shute and Hurley 1993; Guatemalan Commission for Historical Clarification [CEH] 1999; Farmer 2005; Tsing 2005; Goldman 2007; Orbinski 2008). Not all human rights violations result from repressive government regimes or oppressive societies. The 2009 world financial recession brought to the forefront, for many people, the significant role that business organizations and their leaders play in human rights and social justice within our global society. Prior to the recession of 2009, a number of well-known businesses collapsed from the weight of a single-minded focus by their corporate leaders on profit as the sole business purpose and in the absence of a strong  2 business ethic (Cunliffe 2004; Raufflet and Mills 2009). In Canada, we are seeing increased attention being paid to the role of our extractive sector businesses as they operate in other countries and accusations being made against them of human rights and environmental violations by a number of credible organizations such as Amnesty International, Mining Watch Canada, and El Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales.  The research presented in this dissertation is an exploration of the processes through which leaders construct meanings for social justice. The core premise to my research is that the locus for acting justly is situated in our relationships. My thesis is that the meaning of social justice is an evolving and living construct and the search for social justice lies in the day-to-day lived experiences of people within communities around the world. Through open and generative dialogue, we use language to re-shape and create our relationships and our social structures. Through our experiences we bring understanding to the meanings being given to what is just. My research was designed to explore the historical-social-cultural-intersubjective context of the meanings for social justice held by a small group of leaders. In conversation together we drew out and made visible our lived experiences, the moments of dialogue, and the underlying currents of language that weave in and through these meanings as we relationally engaged in talking about what is just.  My curiosity about how leaders make sense in the moment of deciding and acting on what is socially just arises from a realization, based on my own life and work experiences, of the importance of the meanings we construct together. I have been privileged to be born into a time and place where I have known social stability, political freedom, and access to the means to pursue a life primarily led by my dreams rather than by the need to see my own basic needs met. Working in health care for many years has given me experiences in an environment where our Canadian social values of caring for others are aspired to and expressed. It is also an organizational context where socially just actions and behaviours as defined by one individual or group may not be experienced or perceived as socially just by  3 another individual or group—particularly by those who are marginalized or without voice in the system. It is my contention that it is in the complex moments of deciding and acting that our meanings of what is just are made real.  Over time, I have become more and more disenchanted with the dominant or normative narratives that inform our social and organizational concepts of what is just and how justice is reached. Some of the narratives we hear echo with the objective and rational notions that come to us from discourses within political science. Still other narratives come to us in the language of business; a discourse and way of thinking that places a high value on hierarchy, productivity, measurement, and profit while placing a lower value on relationships, reflection, and collaboration. Other narratives of what is socially just come from our social and cultural contexts. We see in our society many examples of inequality and systematized marginalization that become entwined with diversity in ideological and practical tensions. In my own work with organizations, I have seen a number of approaches and practices that are designed to ‘engage’ those who are ‘dis-engaged’ and to give voice to those who do not have a voice. These practices can, and often do, fall short of challenging the preferred organization or social-cultural centric narrative for the socially just way forward on complex and contentious issues. The desire of many people to ascribe value to social justice as a value or principle within our society can become marginalized or de-valued when faced with other belief systems, priorities, and imperatives. Indeed, efforts aimed at contesting the ‘right’ to articulate the dominant, most acceptable or winning narrative of what is just, continues to create polarities that can make issues seem unresolvable and justice unattainable. This propensity for creating polarities is captured in a reflection shared by Gary, one of our research participants:  You know, on a personal level it is quite exciting to set aside judgment and really try to understand someone and be curious…. I should have learned that 50 years ago. And I think, on a social or practical level, the excitement for me is… I think it is much more the solution to our issues and complex difficulties than the other. I will give you a funny example—or it is not that funny…but I was looking on the internet the last  4 few days. I am a little involved on things around the Northern Gateway pipeline and it was something that was put together by industry to promote it, and one of the big taglines on the site was “why does it have to be the economy or the environment?” [And I thought] right! And then I was looking at one of the anti-Gateway sites and they have the same tagline [laughs]. So I thought okay—that is the right question! It is just one of them is asking it as if everyone on the environment side hates the economy and the other people are asking it the opposite way. So what if those groups of people sat at the table and they really genuinely tried to answer that question? Why does it have to be the environment or economy and came up with—maybe not those people because they sit on opposite ends—but say most of us…because most of us probably understand that the answer to that question is complicated and involves stewardship and environmental concern as well as concern for our economic welfare. So that was an example I saw last night. It made me laugh but doesn’t seem very funny in the telling [laughs]. (Gary Call #7) Gary has articulated in this reflection an example of how we can get caught up in trying to convince others (the public, the government, etc.) that ‘our side’ is right and that we hold ‘the truth’ and that the other side is ‘wrong.’ This creation of polarities perpetuates notions of winning and losing, thus perpetuating the pursuit of ownership of the dominant discourse on the issue, even if it means drowning out the other side(s). Engaging in this research process with a small group of leaders who think about what is socially just, deepened my own awareness of how I make meaning of justice within my own actions and decisions. Becoming a person who is attentive to social justice in all spheres of one’s life is a journey of choices. In preparing for this research and in my search for a theoretical perspective from which to start, I also came to the realization that my own ontology required re-examination. In my lived experience, and with a background in science and health administration, I have absorbed a worldview that objective and real social truths exist. In this worldview, the uncovering of these truths could be achieved by objective, empirical and positivist means, including rational arguments, and thus the replication of these truths could be pursued. Further, this worldview held (and still holds) that ‘real’ truths exist external to one’s subjective experience resulting, at times, in the negating of the value of my own experiences and understandings.   5 From this rationalist and objectivist viewpoint, establishing social justice is achieved through the rational articulation of laws or principles and the establishment of social structures that enact them. Social institutions, rather than individuals in relationship with ‘others,’ become the locus for moral assessment, the means for protecting people from injustice, and for righting any wrongs (Rawls 1971; Follesdal and Pogge 2005). This ontology or worldview is increasingly being challenged both by globalization and by social theories premised on alternative ontologies. For me personally, this belief that an objective truth of what is just exists and waits to be discovered, ceases to be helpful in my own lived experience where more and more diversity in perspectives of what is socially just are encountered. In reaching a place of questioning what I had previously assumed to be an unquestionable truth of the way to see the world, I began to explore social theory for alternative ontologies or beliefs about being and ways to see social realities, and for making meaning of what is just.  I have chosen to draw on two ontologies that I see as complementary to one another because both are dialogic. The first is one of ‘being’ in relationship with ‘other’ and the second is ‘being’ through understanding. The first ontology presumes a philosophical anthropological stance in which we create meanings in relationship, while the second ontology presumes language as the means through which we understand (Gadamer 1982; Bakhtin 1986; Cunliffe 2002; Buber 2004; Freire 2011). These ontologies together bring a relational, processual, emergent, and contextualized or situated perspective to the meanings we make of social justice. It is from within these two ontological perspectives that my research questions became framed, my approach to the research developed, and the contribution of my research to theory conceptualized.  At the start of the research process, I held a set of questions as a frame or container to hold the space for the conversations with the research participants as we explored the meanings we hold for what is just. The notion of creating meaning with language and in  6 relationship with ‘others’ became visible to me even in the simple act of revisiting the words I used to construct this frame over the course of the research. Throughout the time of the research and from the space of dialogue among the research participants, my own processes of making meaning of what is socially just as it was embedded in my lived experiences became clearer, deeper and sharper—reflecting my own journey with reflexivity and understanding. The following paragraphs provide a glimpse of what was happening within my own thinking as I participated in the research: ORIGINAL THOUGHTS: The meanings we hold of social justice are made visible in the acts and decisions we take within our social settings. I contend that the meanings of social justice underlying our assumptions and actions emerge in and through relationships and are informed by the historical, social, cultural and language context of our lived experiences.  [PENNY: I realize, part way into this process of working with my research question and thesis, that the word justice still holds for me an expectation of a truth that would be revealed. Yet—shades of Paulo Freire—I am hearing that justice really is the humanizing of ‘other’ and that we all stumble our way forward in this as we have opportunity to confront the judgments we hold of ourselves and of ‘others’ (April 22).] [PENNY: More than informed by, our assumptions and therefore our actions are continually unfolding in the historical, social, cultural and language context of our lived experience because our historical, social, cultural and language context is not static (April 22 and 24).] ORIGINAL THOUGHTS: The dominant normative discourse of social justice and human rights is based in modernism, rationality, empirical objectivity and individualism leading to a belief that social justice is to be found through the embedding of normative principles into our social institutions.  [PENNY: Hmmm modernism seems to hold us in a subjective-objective dualism that can impede the transcending of boundaries of our ideas and relationships (April 24).] ORIGINAL THOUGHTS: The forces of globalization, however, are creating an opening for more voices to be heard and stories to be told about social justice that influence our ways of knowing and acting and thus challenge this dominant discourse. To understand alternative ways of knowing what is just, I take a dialogic theoretical frame to the meaning leaders construct for social justice within the context of engagement with those who are ‘other.’ The underlying premise to my research is that the locus for justness is situated between people. It is people, relating with one another, who hold the opportunity to act justly.  [PENNY: And acting justly, I am hearing, is the opening up of space for the voice of ‘other’ to be spoken, to be heard, to be reflected upon and to be changed by (April 17).]  7 ORIGINAL THOUGHTS: The theoretical problem is the historical-social-cultural-intersubjective context that contributes to an individual’s capacity to understand and act in ways that are socially just. The space ‘between’ self and ‘other,’ the space created in dialogue, takes place over time and through relationship (Deetz 2003), and is the `locus’ for my research.  [PENNY: and it is not necessarily in the physical presence of ‘other’ but in the memory of ‘others’ that we hold in our thoughts as we live life. For example Lex holds in his memory the wisdom of a group of campesinos who caused him to re-examine his own assumptions regarding the value of what they knew (April 22).] ORIGINAL QUESTIONS: The research questions to be explored include: What is the constituting nature of the dialogic moments between leaders who are in the process of co-creating an understanding of social justice? What do the leaders, as the constituters of meaning, bring to the process and how do they see themselves and ‘others’ in the process of the dialogic experience? What sensemaking, stories and narratives emerge as meanings of social justice are constituted? What context, contributions and constraints do the leaders, the organization(s) and the community(ies) bring to the dialogic experience?  Articulated in the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence and also found in both the writings of the French Declaration (1789) and the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights is an assumption of the inherent internal or interior knowing of the essence of human rights (Hunt 2007). Where does this inherent and self-evident knowing of human rights and their expression in social justice arise? Is it an intrinsic condition of being human to know this truth of social justice, or does the knowing pre-exist an individual’s subjective understanding by its presence in our language, cultural, social and historical context and utterances? Are our understandings of social justice continuing to be shaped and do these understandings become co-constructed in our relationships with the ‘other’? These are the questions I held throughout the research process to help create a space for meaning and understanding to emerge. As dialogic ontologies of being in relationship and language imply, understanding, language, and meanings are interpretive and not fixed: rather, we each bring in our own lived experience to create meanings in the relationships we form and the texts that we encounter. Theoretical and research perspectives on social justice are found across a broad spectrum of disciplines including political science, anthropology, organizational studies and business, and education. The contribution this research makes to the field of social justice is in the focus I place on how leaders draw on lived experiences, relationship, and language to make meaning of what is just in the situated moment, rather than on the justness of the social structures and culture  8 that surround them. I hold a view in this research that people act justly based on how they make meaning of the relational and language context in which they find themselves.  The dominant voice in this dissertation is mine as the researcher and primary writer. In compiling the conversations that emerged from the research, I have invited back into the process the individuals who kindly agreed to give of their time, their minds, and their hearts as research participants. I also attempt to honour the divergence of voices that dialogue and language fosters, as new understandings are elicited as the process of writing extends the conversation beyond the period of time defined by the research process. Indeed it is my hope that you, as the reader, will interact with what is shared and that you will feel invited to reflexively explore your own constructed meanings and understandings of social justice as they arise for you from your experiences—thus far in your lived journey. This dissertation is organized into five chapters. In chapter two I locate dialogue theory within the broader frame of social theory and continue on to examine dialogue theory as it has been influenced by the linguistic turn in social theory—a perspective that foregrounds language and meaning as the means by which social reality is constructed. While many theorists and researchers have contributed to an understanding of dialogue, I highlight the work of four theorists who have contributed significantly to my own thinking and understanding of dialogue as a way of seeing and understanding: Martin Buber, Paulo Freire, Mikhail Bakhtin and Hans-Georg Gadamer. Their contributions are reviewed in some detail along with the contribution of contemporary theorists on dialogue theory. In the latter part of chapter two I focus on the literature related to social justice, a term used interchangeably in the literature with human rights and justice. Political science, anthropology, and corporate social responsibility comprise the bodies of literature that I accessed to develop an understanding of the narratives and utterances that permeate the meanings of social justice in our historical, social, and cultural space and time.   9 In chapter three, I describe the research process including the core methodologies and the methods underpinning the inquiry. The research for this dissertation was conducted in partnership with my colleague Christine Bonney. Together we created a research approach that would address both of our research questions. Christine’s question centres on the individual as a leader, exploring their practices and their identity as they act in just ways: and my question looks to the meaning that leaders construct, with ‘others,’ of what is just. We both have an interest in leaders and social justice and the research process that we created together elicited rich experiences and understandings of leaders and leaderships and how social justice is understood from lived experiences. Together we engaged in conversation with the participants, building deeper relationships over a time frame of six months. We held eight individual conversations with each participant and facilitated three teleconferences in which all of the participants participated. We also used a secure website for group discussion and individual journal postings. The essence of this research is ethnographic and draws on ethnographic methods to immerse us in the relationships, contexts, and patterns from which meanings for social justice emerge. In chapter four, four landscapes are created for the purpose of exploring the language, context, relationships, and meanings that emerged in the research: the individual stories and experiences that awakened each of the participants to social justice; the exploration of the choices and experiences through stories of making meaning of what is just; the dialogic moments in which collective meaning making of what is social justice emerged or that fostered their awareness of social justice; and, the utterances that refract the social, cultural, historical and intersubjective experiences of the participants and the researchers in the meanings of social justice. These landscapes are not fixed, other than for the purposes of explicating what emerged in the research, and neither are they mutually exclusive. No hard boundaries exist between them and I want to declare early on my intent to tread lightly on the words expressed within the conversations I felt privileged to be a part  10 of. These four landscapes are simply choices I have made to foreground what emerged for me as a researcher-participant in this research process.  The final chapter brings us back from the research itself to the implications of this research for dialogue and social justice theory along with a few concluding perspectives.     11 Chapter Two Literature Review In this chapter, I review the literature on dialogue theory and social justice as they pertain to my research thesis: that the meanings of social justice underlying our assumptions and actions emerge in and through relationships and are informed by the historical, social, cultural, relational and language contexts of our lived experiences. First, I review dialogue theory in relationship to the broader context of social theory. I then review in some depth the work of four key theorists (Martin Buber, Paulo Freire, Mikhail Bakhtin, and Hans-Georg Gadamer) as their work pertains to dialogue theory. This is followed by a review of contemporary dialogue theory as it is conceptualized and applied in research. Secondly, I provide a review of selected modern discourses on human rights and social justice. This section opens with an exploration of the historical, social and cultural context for the meanings constructed of social justice and human rights and includes examples of the contestations that have produced them. In the remainder of the section I focus on selected readings from political philosophy, anthropology and corporate social responsibility in which, through language, social justice and human rights are theorized. Before I continue with this introduction to the literature, I want to pause and reconsider a phrase I have continued to use as I prepared for the research and as I have been engaged in the writing of what took place in the research process. It is the term ‘lived experience.’ A friend of mine posed to me the question: “What is the difference between experience and lived experience? Are they not the same thing?” As I held myself open to this question, I was delighted to encounter Mikhail Bakhtin’s (1993) work titled Toward a Philosophy of the Act in which he speaks of the emotional-volitional lived experience. We experience the world concretely. We see it, hear it, touch it, and think it, “permeated in its entirety with the emotional-volitional tones of the affirmed validity of values” (Bakhtin 1993:56). Bakhtin argues it is in the moment of acting that we bring to concreteness the  12 meaning upon which we are compelled to act, and in the acting we embody the meaning and the core values that we hold. Each moment is contextualized uniquely, and the meanings, as in this case the meaning of social justice, are actualized in the deed within that context. Bakhtin (1993) argues that “everything taken independently of, without reference to, the unique centre of value from which issues the answerability of a performed act is deconcretized and derealized: it is deprived of its weight with respect to value, it loses its emotional volitional compellentness, and becomes an empty, abstractly universal possibility” (59). Exploring the academic literature on dialogue and social justice creates the risk of decontextualizing meanings from acts of dialogue and social justice and from the weight of the values that compel us in the moments of acting justly. Bakhtin’s words are highly reminiscent of Paulo Freire’s (2011) understanding of the authentic word, a word that holds both reflection and action. I invite you, as the reader of this chapter, to reflect upon your lived experiences of acting justly and the values that compelled you in those moments of acting. Dialogue theory, the lens that I have chosen to explore the meaning leaders co-construct of what is just when engaged with ‘others,’ holds out the possibility of co-constructing meanings in relationship with one another, meanings that shift our view of, and potentially our influence on the world, around us (Anderson and Cissna 1997; Deetz 1996, 2003; Buber 2004; Wood 2004; Freire 2011). Together perhaps, we might mitigate the risk of decontextualizing these meanings of justice and, by holding out these experiences, be open to seeing the possibilities. A further risk of intellectualizing our notions of dialogue is to fall into a pattern of reducing dialogue into irreducible and replicable practices. Martin Buber’s words, exhort me to hold onto the sacred nature of a dialogic encounter with another:   13 Imagine two men sitting beside one another in any kind of solitude of the world. They do not speak with one another, they do not look at one another, not once have they turned to one another. They are not in one another’s confidence, the one knows nothing of the other’s career, early that morning they got to know one another in the course of their travels. In this moment neither is thinking of the other; we don’t need to know what their thoughts are. The one is sitting on the common seat obviously after his usual manner, calm hospitably disposed to everything that may come. His being seems to say it is too little to be ready, one must also be really there. The other, whose attitude does not betray him, is a man who holds himself in reserve, withholds himself. But if we know about him we know that a childhood’s spell is laid on him, that his withholding of himself is something other than an attitude, behind all attitudes is entrenched the impenetrable inability to communicate himself. And now − let us imagine that this is one of the hours which succeed in bursting asunder the seven iron bands about our heart− imperceptibly the spell is lifted. But even now the man does not speak a word, does not stir a finger. Yet he does something. The lifting of the spell has happened to him − no matter from where – without his doing. But this is what he does now: he releases in himself a reserve over which only he himself has power. Unreservedly communication streams from him, and the silence bears it to his neighbour. Indeed it was intended for him, and he receives it unreservedly as he receives all genuine destiny that meets him. He will be able to tell no one, not even himself, what he has experienced. What does he now “know“ of the other? No more knowing is needed. For where unreserved has ruled, even wordlessly, between men, the word of dialogue has happened sacramentally. (Buber 1984:25−26) As I explore dialogue from a theoretical perspective, a perspective that can be held as an intellectual process, I appreciate the reminder in Buber’s words, that there is a first movement in dialogue, a relational turning of one to an other—a movement that is a choice and a lived experience—a sacred moment.  Dialogue Theory In the Context of Social Theory  Broadly, the human and social sciences focus on the exploration of the nature of our humanity and our social realities, to gain understanding and knowledge for application to the problems of humanity. Dialogue theory, as understood today, is a minor theory, particularly when compared to the interest in feminist, critical, and poststructuralist schools of thought and the long-standing traditions of structuralism. Two conceptual frameworks have helped me to locate dialogue theory within the broader context of social theory: Gibson Burrell and Gareth Morgan’s (1994) sociological paradigms for organizational analysis and Stanley Deetz’s (2003) discourse distinctions.   14 Burrell and Morgan (1994) proposed that all social theory could be differentiated in terms of the underlying assumptions of the nature of social science and the nature of society. In privileging a view of the nature of social science on the basis of an objective−subjective continuum, they explored the implications of the underlying ontology and epistemologies of social theories. Social theory that holds to an objective view of reality or a reality that exists “external to the individual” (1994:1) is characterized by ontology of realism, an epistemology of positivism, a view of human nature that is deterministic, and methodologies that are nomothetic. Social theory that holds to reality as subjective, seeing it as the product of consciousness, is characterized by ontology of idealism, an epistemology of anti-positivism, a view of human nature that is voluntaristc, and holds to methodologies that are ideographic. The perspectives held in social theories on the nature of society can be differentiated in terms of an order–conflict continuum. Burrell and Morgan (1994) define theory along this continuum as either seeking to understand the stability of social reality through systems or structures of regulation or, the radical change of social reality that arises from “deep-seated structural conflicts” (17) and “modes of domination”(17). A regulation (order) perspective of society is characterized by stability, integration, consensus and status quo and thus, stands in contrast to a radical change perspective characterized by structural conflict, domination, contradiction, and emancipation (Burrell and Morgan 1994; Deetz 1996).  Attempting to locate dialogue theory within Burrell and Morgan’s four sociological paradigms provides a place to begin in considering dialogue theory and its relationship to the objective−subjective nature of social science and its positionality towards the radical change-regulation nature of society. Dialogue theorists and practitioners often trace the lineage of dialogue theory to the work of Hans−Georg Gadamer and Jürgen Habermas (Crapanzano 1990; Maranhão 1990; Anderson, Baxter and Cissna 2004; Deetz and Simpson 2004; Stewart, Zediker and Black 2004; Anderson and Cissna 2008;   15 Kim and Kim 2008). Within the paradigms proposed by Burrell and Morgan (1994), Habermas and Gadamer are identified within the radical humanist and interpretive paradigms respectively. Both paradigms are oriented towards a subjective perspective of reality, a perspective that sees social reality as one that is socially constructed and that examines the relationships of individuals to reality through their subjective experience of it. Interpretive social theory is less concerned with change and is more accepting of social reality as it is, while radical humanists challenge social reality as it is constructed in order to critique it, particularly in relation to the alienation of humanity. As Burrell and Morgan (1994) do not explicitly represent dialogue theory within their framework, the placement of the work of Habermas and Gadamer serves as a proxy for the positioning of dialogue theory with reference to the subjective−objective and regulation−radical change dimensions they propose.  Hans-Georg Gadamer is viewed in dialogue theory literature as a theorist who held a philosophical hermeneutic stance within human sciences (Gadamer 1984; Maranhão 1990; Anderson et al. 2004; Deetz and Simpson 2004; Stewart et al. 2004). As a philosophical hermeneutic theorist, Gadamer’s contribution to social theory has been his focus on knowledge and understanding embedded in the “experiences of the world and human living” (Gadamer 1984:xviii) and the privileging of language both as expression and manifestation of being (Burrell and Morgan 1994). In Gadamer’s work the hermeneutic becomes ontological with a centering on language and understanding in relationships and a decentering of subject as the source of meaning (Crapanzano 1990; Maranhão 1990; Burrell and Morgan 1994; Deetz and Simpson 2004; Stewart et al. 2004).  As I contemplate the relationship between Burrell and Morgan’s framework and the understanding of Gadamer that is offered by different academic authors, I am struck by the awkwardness of the fit between Gadamer’s contribution to dialogue and the subjective−objective continuum. Gadamer (1984) focuses on the effective historical context  16 of understanding and on the relational nature of human understanding with language as the site and tool through which meaning emerges (Deetz 1996, 2003; Stewart et al. 2004). His view is at odds with the subjective view of the nature of social reality that posits understanding as originating within the self or consciousness, shifting significantly where one focuses to further explore the emergence of meaning and understanding. Indeed, Stewart and Zediker (2000) concur with this observation and its implication for dialogue theory when they state that “accounts of dialogue…clarify both why the subject−object dichotomy that western thinkers inherited from Descartes and Kant is deeply problematic and how it might be overcome” (228). Our external and internal worlds are not separate; they are displayed in the unfolding and spontaneous encounters between people in the process of living life. The influence of Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics is to cause a shift in focus away from self and towards historically contextualized language as the meaning making source of understanding in relationship with ‘other.’  The second theorist profiled by Burrell and Morgan, one seen by many contemporary dialogue theorists as a significant contributor, is Jürgen Habermas. Burrell and Morgan (1994) place Habermas’ contribution to social theory in the radical humanist paradigm. This placement highlights Habermas’ interest in theory that is emancipatory as it addresses or makes us aware of what is inherently dominant in our discourses, as well as “hermeneutic in its endeavour to understand the socio-cultural world in which subjective meaning is located” (294). In a line of thought that is similar to Gadamer, Habermas holds to the role of language in conversation as the problem to be explored, rather than consciousness, in generating an understanding of social cultural reality (Kim and Kim 2008). Habermas’ interest in public discourse led him to examine how divergent views and perspectives could be brought in to achieve “agreement that ends in mutuality and intersubjectivity” (Anderson et al. 2004:6). Burrell and Morgan’s framework, premised as it is on the belief that reality originates either as an interior or an exterior view of reality and the locating of hermeneutics in the  17 subjective end of the continuum, succeeds in acknowledging both Gadamer and Habermas’ positions as distinct from the work of theorists who held to a view of social reality as one that exists external to the individual. Still, the work of both Gadamer and Habermas fits awkwardly in Burrell and Morgan’s paradigms primarily due to their underlying premise of the socially constructed nature of meaning making in relation with ‘others,’ rather than the individual’s subjective creation of an external reality that can subsequently be examined (Deetz 1996).  Dialogue theory, grounded in the notion that human beings construct reality through relationship and language, foregrounds the nature and essence of the interactions that support mutual understanding over the perceptions a subject brings into the dialogic encounter (Gadamer 1984; Deetz 2003; Buber 2004). In his argument for rethinking Burrell and Morgan’s framework, Stanley Deetz (1996) proposes an alternative frame for examining social theory that emphasizes the linguistic turn. In doing so, Deetz (1996) builds from the premise that social reality is socially constructed, that language and meaning making comprise the process of constituting social reality, and that social discourses can be differentiated on the basis of a priori or emergent understandings and on the basis of consensus and dissensus with the dominant social discourse.  The linguistic turn in social theory is an attempt to move away from the subjective−objective dualism and its “assumption of a psychological foundation of experience” (Deetz 2003:422), to an intentional turn toward “recognition of the constitutive conditions of experience and the de-centering of the human subject as the center or origin of perspective” (422). The linguistic turn shifts the focus away from the objects that have been constituted and the meaning attributed to them and looks at the constituting process itself. Within discourse theory, the underlying premise is that meaning is contested. In this contesting, distinctions are made between what meanings are similar and ones that are different. A dominant group within society can determine the dominant meaning as well as  18 attribute value to the meanings, thus perpetuating inequities in the construction of meaning and marginalizing others in the process (Deetz 1996).  In his critique of Burrell and Morgan’s framework, Deetz (1996) suggests that they have given preference to the premises of the social theorists who have worked within the structuralist paradigm, positioning their work with a positive valence and assigning the role of ‘other’ to theorists working from contrary positions. In doing this, Deetz (1996) argues, the ‘other’ theorists have been left using language and meaning defined within the structuralist paradigm to describe their own work, a language that does not adequately express the thinking and the concepts they are using.  In shifting our focus towards language as a means of constituting the meanings given to objects, Deetz (1996) proposes a frame for an alternative perspective to social and organizational research approaches. Similar to Burrell and Morgan, he offers a frame with four quadrants based on two dimensions. The first dimension replaces the subjective-objective paradigm used by Burrell and Morgan and is anchored by an a priori perspective and an emergent−local perspective for the lens a researcher brings to the question being researched. At the a priori end of the continuum, the question being asked is based on the inquirer’s knowledge, understanding, and perspective on the phenomenon to be examined. Since our questions embody our implicit assumptions, the inquirer brings with them assumptions that are grounded in their own social–cultural–historical–intersubjectivity. At the other end of the continuum, the inquirer comes as a collaborator to participate in what is created locally, recognizing that all who are involved bring their own social–cultural–historical–intersubjectivity to the context. This polarity acknowledges the social construction present in all inquiry positions, highlights whose concepts are used in object construction and makes accessible different kinds of knowing. The second dimension is distributed on a continuum anchored by consensus at one end (the seeking after of existing social orders with the objective to highlight the dominant  19 discourse and to seek order) and dissensus at the other (the focus on the struggles and tensions that are normal so that a new and fairer social order can emerge). The four discourses created by these two continuums are normative, interpretive, conflict and dialogic. Each discourse provides an orientation towards social reality, a perspective on the ways in which people orient towards their reality based on the events they experience and their own ways of narrating or making sense. Within this frame, dialogic discourses work to hold open ideational space for meaning making, and make available a place and space where new and holistic meanings emerge. Dialogic discourse focuses on the constructing processes of both people (identity) and reality with an emphasis on relations, partiality, and recovery of voices in a space where transformation is possible. Within Deetz’s discourse frame, the dialogic occupies a distinct space characterized by local emergent understanding and a fostering of dissensus with the dominant social discourses. The dialogic is emergent, is local in terms of the origins of the questions, and inherently values difference. Within the frame of the linguistic turn, Deetz argues that dialogue theory focuses on ‘other’ rather than ‘self,’ holding hope for the reclamation of lost and marginalized voices and the constructed nature of peoples’ reality, and emphasizes the role of mutual language and meaning in the reality construction process (Deetz 1996).  The sociological paradigms of Burrell and Morgan (1994) and the discourses of Deetz (1996) help to connect dialogue theory within the hermeneutic traditions, philosophically and critically. Within these traditions, meaning and reality are socially constructed through language. It is through language that meaning is explored and constructed and our humanness is expressed. We are at essence understanders, sense-makers, and meaning-makers and through relational processes what is knowable emerges. The linguistic and critical turn of theory, which has emerged over the past century, reminds us that, in the emergence of meaning, some voices become marginalized and silenced. As  20 the focus of study becomes the processes of meaning construction and the decentering of self as the location of knowing, we are able to foreground the constituting process, make visible the marginalized voices, and background the meaning that is constituted. Within the context of social and discourse theory, dialogue emerges as processual and multivocal and reflects the unfinalizableness of meaning. Key Theorists and Their Contribution In the previous section, I attempted to position dialogue theory within the broader context of social theory. In this section, I turn to the work of theorists who have laid the groundwork specifically for dialogue theory. Theorists most commonly identified as having a significant influence on dialogue theory as it is conceived today, include Martin Buber, Paulo Freire, Mikhail Bakhtin, and Hans-Georg Gadamer.1 Other theorists, such as Jürgen Habermas, Sören Kierkegaard, and Emmanuel Levinas have also been acknowledged for their contributions to dialogue theory through their focus on human contact and communication (Stewart et al. 1994; Herrmann 2008). The focus in this section, however, will be limited to developing an understanding of contemporary dialogue theory based on the key contributions made by the four theorists identified above because of their emphasis on dialogue and language as fundamental to being.  Martin Buber Martin Buber’s philosophical anthropological stance of ‘I−Thou’ as the relational essence of what it means to be human, has become a touchstone for dialogue theory and theorists today (Maranhão 1990; Anderson and Cissna 1997; Cissna and Anderson 1998; Czubaroff and Friedman 2000; Gordon 2000; Stewart and Zediker 2000; Anderson et al. 2004;                                                  1 The following authors identify these four theorists as key contributors to dialogue theory: Maranhão 1990; Crapanzano 1994; Anderson and Cissna 1997, 2008; Cissna and Anderson 1998; Czubaroff and Friedman 2000; Gordon 2000; Murray 2000; Artz 2001; Anderson et al. 2004; Arnett 2004; Baxter 2004; Deetz and Simpson 2004; Stewart et al. 2004; Bebbington, Brown, Frame and Thomson 2007; Kim and Kim 2008; Black 2008; Herrmann 2008; White 2008; Simpson 2008; Johannesen 2009.  21 Arnett 2004; Stewart et al. 2004; Kim and Kim 2008; Johannesen 2009). His experiences in Germany as a Jew during the nationalist rise of Nazism, his move to Palestine in the late 1930s, and his work in the Palestinian and Israeli conflicts represent for many who have studied and written about his work, the socio-historical-cultural context that was significantly influential to his thinking (Johannesen 2000; Stewart and Zediker 2000; Stewart et al. 2004).  In his book, Between Man and Man (2004), Buber built on his earlier thinking related to ‘I−Thou’ and the elemental nature of the ‘between,’ in which human meaning and existence is dialogue (Johannesen 2000). For Buber (2004), ‘I−Thou,’ the ‘between’ of the relation of one and other, “where each of the participants really has in mind the other or others in their present and particular being and in turning to them with the intention of establishing a living mutual relationship between himself and them” (89) is the display of genuine dialogue. Genuine dialogue is distinguished by Buber from technical dialogue and monologue interactions, which also characterize human relations, in the openhearted authentic presencing to ‘other’ that leaves oneself open to be changed while not losing one’s own ground (Anderson and Cissna 1997; Johannesen 2000; Stewart and Zediker 2000; Buber 2004; Friedman 2004). These three types of human interaction are differentiated by their outcome and their nature. In genuine dialogue mutual relation is established in which exploration unfolds, in technical dialogue objective understanding needs to be conveyed and, in monologue speaking can seem to be almost torturous in its uni-vocality.  Buber (2004) describes from his own experience a deep desire for a genuine dialogue that arises from a crying out and a listening for a response. It is in the hearing of the response, the rejoinder, that he declares ‘now it has happened,’ that lays the sense of completeness: In one’s crying out and knowing a response from an ‘other.’ Buber holds this completeness as the essence of human communion, the connection between people that is the place of genuine dialogue. Truth is what is revealed when we turn to one another in our human situation and where the nature of dialogue is expressed as one open hearted person  22 turning to another open hearted person and together finding “anguish and expectation” (Buber 2004:58). This communication is not just through words and in speaking; it is through the senses and the internal opening of one to an ‘other’ and the internal places of speaking that convey to others a representation of our dialogue in the “mutuality of the inner action” (58). In genuine dialogue, what exists ‘between’ two people becomes filled in by what is possible without boundaries. The basic movement of dialogue is the turning towards the ‘other’ and this turning is distinct from what is seen in monologue where the ‘other’ only exists as ‘I’ experience him. For Buber the ‘between’ provides a third alternative to the locating of relation between human beings (as contrasted to the individual’s soul or in the interaction with the world). As he states: What is peculiarly characteristic of the human world is above all that something takes place between one being and another the like of which can be found nowhere else in nature.... Man is made man by it; but on its way it does not merely unfold, it also decays and withers away. It is rooted in one being turning to another as another, as this particular other being, in order to communicate with it in a sphere which is common to them but which reaches out beyond the special sphere of each. I call this sphere, which is established with the existence of man as man but which is conceptually still uncomprehended, the sphere of ‘between.’ Though being realized in very different degrees, it is a primal category of human reality. (309) Buber’s (2004) thinking on dialogue and his philosophical grounding in the ‘between’ of ‘I−Thou,’ has contributed to dialogue theory the notion of mutuality in relation with ‘other,’ the momentariness of dialogue, the ethical choice in turning from the dominant monologic communication to dialogue, and interest in the limits to dialogue (Anderson and Cissna 1997; Cissna and Anderson 1998; Johannesen 2000; Stewart and Zediker 2000; Stewart et al. 2004; Black 2008; White 2008). In the 1957 dialogue between Martin Buber and Carl Rogers, Buber articulates his perspective on mutuality as an openness between two people that is as a call to an ‘other’ (Anderson and Cissna 1997). This is not a fusing of two selves into a oneness, as in the moment of mutuality one’s “own separate ground is not lost” (Anderson and Cissna 1997:32; Stewart and Zediker 2000). Further, Buber is clear that one  23 does not “have the right to want to change another if I am not open to be changed by him as far as it is legitimate” (Anderson and Cissna 1997:32). Within this mutuality of dialogue, Buber sees the differences each holds as being important, while in the same moment holding out the value of the ‘other,’ as in this awareness and openness the uninhibited expression changes “communication to communion” (Buber 2004:27; Czubaroff and Friedman 2000; Johannesen 2000; White 2008).  Cissna and Anderson (1998), in their later writings, based on the transcripts of the Buber−Rogers 1957 dialogue, highlight the perspective on mutuality that emerges between Buber and Rogers as one that does not mean the same as symmetry, reciprocity or equality. Rather, mutuality suggests something done together in response to the ‘other’ and that is characterized by responsiveness (Buber 2004; Arnett 2004). Buber’s view of mutuality becomes further illuminated in his dialogue with Rogers as he questions whether or not dialogue can occur within the setting of therapy (Anderson and Cissna 1997). To him this question arose from his perspective that, a psychologically unwell client may be inherently unable to enter into the dialogic with the therapist and that the inequality in the power relationships between the therapist and the client hinders mutuality. Roger’s response is that, in his experience, moments of mutuality occur within the therapeutic context when there was experiential equality of meeting the ‘other’ that may not be seen from an objective view of role equality.  This exchange of perspectives between Rogers and Buber perhaps captures the self-awareness in the dialogic moment—awareness of the attitudes one holds towards the ‘other’ —attitudes of authenticity, inclusion, confirmation, and of being present (Johannesen 2000). In the presence of these attitudes which foster dialogue and are expressed in dialogue, the focus becomes the ‘between’ rather than ‘other’ and is the inherent quality of the ‘I−Thou’ in which Buber locates the being of being human, the authentic human life (Buber 2004; Kim and Kim 2008; Anderson et al. 2004; Stewart et al. 2004).   24 Importantly in Buber’s view of dialogue, he does not idealistically suggest a life of perpetual dialogue, a being present in ‘I−Thou’ at all times and in all relationships, as possible or practical. His contrasting concept of ‘I−It’ recognizes that in life the self is at times interacting with objective ‘its.’ In life there is the role of observer, one who sees a person as an object that can be assessed, and the onlooker, one who sees in order to see what appears. Both share an orientation that sees another person as an object “separated from themselves and their personal life” (2004:33) and as something that can be perceived. Further, for Buber, the dialogic meeting that is an expression of authentic human life exists in a moment (Anderson et al. 2004; Anderson and Cissna 1997; Stewart et al. 2004). In this moment there exists an awareness of others as unique beings, a genuineness that suggests openness to engage, and a respect that prevents one from imposing their reality upon the ‘other’ (Cissna and Anderson 1998). This authentic dialogue experience is a totality rather than an “isolated utterance” (65), and as Buber’s parable of silence suggests, may be a moment without words. Indeed, that unique and authentic connection with ‘other’ can occur in any setting, and often arrives with an element of surprise (Buber 2004; Anderson and Cissna 1997; White 2008).  In exploring the notion of dialogic moments, Buber, in his 1957 dialogue with Carl Rogers, expresses his personal interest in the limits of dialogue. He articulates his own experiences of trying to enter into a dialogic experience and encountering a barrier or wall that cannot be ignored and that, in effect, limits dialogue (Anderson and Cissna 1997). The limits to dialogue may lie in the absence of elements that create the space for the surprise of the dialogic moment to occur. In Between Man and Man (2004), Buber suggests, “the limits of the possibility of dialogue are the limits of awareness” (35) and that we live “encased in an armor[sic] whose task is to ward off signs” (35) of being addressed by ‘other’s. Dialogue is found in openness, authenticity, and unreservedness. In their absence, we may not be listening for nor receiving the signs of what is present before us in an ‘other’—the invitation  25 to enter into authentic dialogue where we are open to be changed while we stand on what we know. Buber’s stance in seeing what it means to be human as being-in-relationship, in essence the ‘between’ of the ‘I−Thou,’ provides a philosophical anthropological foundation for dialogue and dialogue theory. His thinking and his writings have influenced subsequent theorists to explore dialogue as something that is missing in the dominant monologic discourses experienced in modern life, and as the hope for addressing the intractable and challenging questions society faces today. Paulo Freire An equally strong influence on dialogue theory today is the work of Paulo Freire, a renowned educator and social activist exiled from his native Brazil for his literacy work with Brazilian peasants (Macedo 2011). His lived experiences in a family that slid from middle class into poverty due to the economic upheaval in Brazil in the early 1900s are thought to have contributed to the ideas contained in his written works, including his seminal book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed. First published in 1970, the ideas expressed in Pedagogy of the Oppressed continue to be recognized in both the developed and developing world as key contributors to understanding dialogue within the context of oppression, and for the praxis of dialogue within participatory research and education (Brown and Tandon 1983; Maranhão 1990; Hall 1992; Cissna and Anderson 1998; Corburn 2002; Wallerstein and Duran 2003; Bebbington et al. 2007).  For Freire (2011), dialogue leads to liberation. In his thoughtful reflections on the nature of oppression, he posits both humanization and dehumanization to be real alternatives in the human condition and chooses in his writing and in his work, to pursue humanization as the “real vocation” (43) of humanity. The objectification of ‘other’ leads to dehumanization and oppression. The liberation of the oppressed and the oppressor is through communion, relationship, and friendship in which the nature of the socially  26 constructed reality can be explored, a critical consciousness birthed, and the structures of oppression addressed. The praxis for this work of liberation is dialogue. The attitude one holds towards an ‘other’ is critical for the emancipatory and dialogic process and the engagement with an ‘other’ is based in the understanding that, as “people develop their power to perceive critically the way they exist in the world with which and in which they find themselves; they come to see the world not as a static reality, but as a reality in process, in transformation” (Freire 2011:83).  Consistent with Buber’s view of dialogue, Freire argues that one must hold an openhearted, authentic and listening attitude towards an ‘other’ and risk being transformed in the process. Viewing dialogue as a human phenomenon that is grounded in the speaking of a true word that transforms the world, he writes that, within the word we find two dimensions, reflection and action, in such radical interaction that if one is sacrificed – even in part – the other immediately suffers. There is no true word that is not at the same time a praxis. Thus, to speak a true word is to transform the world. (2011:87)  Critical to fostering emancipation, Freire (2011) holds that the word spoken to name the world cannot be spoken alone, nor can it be spoken for another. “Dialogue is the encounter between men, mediated by the world, in order to name the world” (88). Dialogue exists in the presence of profound love, humility, faith in humankind, mutual trust and hope, in a willingness to think critically, and in a perception of “reality as a process” (92). In the absence of these qualities he argues that manipulation, domination, and control result and the structures of domination and oppression are perpetuated. Articulating a critical philosophical view of dialogue that is grounded in the relational nature of being human, he sees potential in the naming and the addressing of the social structures that oppress. It is the role of the oppressed to act in response to these structures that were once invisible and bring the emancipation for both the oppressed and the oppressors.  27 For contemporary dialogue theorists, the influence of Paulo Freire is captured in his positioning of dialogue as being fundamental to being human in the world, his emphasis on the process of dialogue and the critical awareness of the structures that make up the constructed reality, in transformation, in his naming of social realities constructed in the absence of the dialogic that take the form of domination of people, and in his valuing of the differences in world views that emerge in dialogue to inform and support one another. His unique contribution is in his notion of the praxis of dialogue that lives in the word, a word that is characterized by reflection and action and leads to transformation and change at both a personal and systemic level (Maranhão 1990; Hall 1992; Cissna and Anderson 1998; Stewart et al. 2004; Bebbington et al. 2007; Kim and Kim 2008). Mikhail Bakhtin Mikhail Bakhtin, a Russian 20th century thinker known for his social, literary, language, and cultural scholarship, has had a significant impact on contemporary dialogue theory through his emphasis on the richness and diversity of language and the nature of language in the co-constituting of Self and Other (Holquist 1990; Maranhão 1990; Koschmann 1999; Anderson et al. 2004; Baxter 2004). Bakhtin lived, taught, and wrote in Russia during the early and mid 1900s. Exiled in the 1930s to Kazakhstan, much of his written work is thought to have been lost through the chaotic circumstances of his era. His influence is seen as coming late to the West, with many of his located works being translated into English in the 1970s and 1980s. Bakhtin’s contributions to dialogue are considered to be his insightful and “highly distinctive concept of language” (Holquist 1990:xviii), with his attention to “the pervasiveness of dialogue in language and human history” (Anderson et al. 2004:4). While many linguists focus on a unitary meaning to language, in many ways assuming static, systematic and fixed meanings that lend themselves to an authoritative and monologic language, Bakhtin celebrated and embraced the chaos of meanings and the ever-changing interpretations  28 brought by individuals and groups into a co-constituting dance (Maranhão 1990; Holquist 1990). It was in language that Bakhtin saw the dialogic principle of the co-constituting of Self and Other, and the perpetual complex interplay of unitary centripetal forces of language that serve to centralize meaning within the “social and historical heteroglossia” (Bakhtin 1990:272) and the centrifugal forces at play simultaneously working to diversify meaning (Bakhtin 1990; Maranhão 1990; Murray 2000).  Bakhtin’s understanding of language contributes to contemporary dialogue theory notions of heteroglossia and utterances, and the emotional-volitional character of lived experiences (Maranhão 1990; Holquist 1990,1993; Bakhtin 1993; Czubaroff and Friedman 2000; Irving and Moffatt 2002; Baxter 2004; Bebbington et al. 2007). Heteroglossia, the multiplicity of meanings, is thought by Holquist (1990) to be the fundamental concept upon which Bakhtin builds his reflections on language and meaning. For Bakhtin language is contextual, with context serving to “refract, add to or, in some cases, even subtract from the amount and kind of meaning the utterance may be said to have” (Holquist 1990:xx). Bakhtin saw in literary and social discourses two language forces: one centripetal and the other centrifugal (Bakhtin 1990; Baxter 2004; Holquist 1990). The centripetal forces of language seek to unify and centralize language and meaning, and to “make its real presence felt as a force for overcoming this heteroglossia, imposing specific limits to it, guaranteeing a certain maximum of mutual understanding ... the unity of the reigning conversational [everyday] and literary language, ‘correct language’” (Bakhtin 1990:270).  The opposing centrifugal force is at the same time at work creating a “decentralization and disunification” (Bakhtin 1990:272) of language that is dynamic and alive, continuing to emerge “into languages that are socio-ideological; languages of social groups, ‘professional’ and ‘generic’ language, languages of generations and so forth” (272). As both forces are always present, then it is within dialogue that meaning is processually and mutually generated, rather than resulting from a competition for one idea to prevail over  29 another as being more true than the other ((Holquist 1990; Maranhão 1990; Baxter 2004; White 2008). It is his view of the heteroglossia of language and his commitment to the open and unfinalizability of social life that Bakhtin contributes to dialogue, a view that encourages one to hold open to the multiplicity of meanings that are present, to recognize the unique socio-cultural-historical context from which meaning emerges, and to become aware of the contest for meaning that is underway in a given time and space (Holquist 1990; Bebbington et al. 2007). As Leslie Baxter (2004) states, Bakhtin saw monologic wholeness, a oneness or unity achieved through the hegemony of a single voice dominant over other voices, as the wholeness of totalitarianism....By contrast, aesthetic wholeness accomplishes a momentary sense of unity through a profound respect for the disparate voices of dialogue. (118)  The utterance, a second key contribution made to dialogue by Bakhtin, was the whole event of the speech encounter (Maranhão 1990; Irving and Moffatt 2002; Stewart et al. 2004; Baxter 2004). A specific speech encounter cannot be held separate from the nonlinear influences of context, worldviews, previous utterances and utterances yet to come. As Murray (2000) articulates, on behalf of Bakhtin, “there is always a trace in the word of a previous word; there is always a trace of the words of Others in the words that we ourselves use” (137). Meaning emerges contextually and responsively, it arises from the turning of Self to Other rather than from the subject’s will, “giving precedence to the social over the individual” (Maranhão 1990:4). The contextualizing of the speech act as an utterance connected to other utterances across space and time, serves to illuminate the whole and the totality, rather than the separateness and categorization that characterizes the Enlightenment period (Holquist 1990). For Bakhtin (1990) “the authentic environment of an utterance, the environment in which it lives and takes shape, is dialogized heteroglossia, anonymous and social as language, but simultaneously concrete, filled with specific content and accented as an individual utterance” (272).  30 By shifting the perspective of language and meaning away from “a referential−representational account of language use to a more relationally responsive account” (Shotter 2008:503), Bakhtin dramatically expands our thinking on how we understand ourselves, how we understand ‘others,’ and the meanings we create. Rather than attribute pre-conceived meanings, Bakhtin sees in the wholeness that each person brings, the intent in their utterances in the moment of being spoken to create responsiveness in the ‘other,’ and the meaning created, as emergent in the moment. In the moment of dialogic speaking, Bakhtin draws our attention away from the monologic communication of historical representation of a concept to the creative expression of speaking in anticipation of the other’s understanding and one’s responsiveness to what is being conceived (Bakhtin 1986; Baxter 2004).  The relational responsiveness articulated by Bakhtin is not solely a cognitive understanding; it is an embodiment of understanding that is different for each participant in the dialogue and, as such, expands the multivocality of meaning rather than constraining it. What is present within an event is the multiplicity of voices in which multiple perspectives exist within the multiple worlds of each person’s lived experience. Shotter (2008) speaks of this within dialogue as when there is no observer or onlooker, there is rather a relational engagement between speaker and listener such that our “inner feelings play a crucial role in guiding, in being constitutive of, our actions” (511).  Yet for Bakhtin, there is beyond the essence of relational responsiveness, something more. In Toward a Philosophy of the Act, Bakhtin (1993) weaves our concrete experiences of the world into moments where the emotional-volitional affirmation of our values uniquely compel us to act and in the process we “acquire an actual, lived experienced, heavy and compellent…validity or operativeness from the unique place of my participating in Being-as-event” (57). Abstract meanings remain abstract and unrealized in the absence of “deed-performing thinking, as a constituent moment of thinking only when it is correlated with  31 actuality” (59). It is in the unique moment of time and space and being that value and unique meaning is constituted. Bakhtin’s work is challenging and provocative. He illuminates our assumptions and ways of thinking about dialogue and meaning making within a world of emergent, dynamic and unfinalizable meanings. In dialogic relationships, we can see language is an evocative tool, rather than a static and closed attributer of historic and reproduced understanding. Hans-Georg Gadamer Hans-Georg Gadamer’s contribution to dialogue theory is through the influence of philosophical hermeneutics. Dialogue theorists attribute to him a perspective of dialogue as “fundamental to human-being-in-the-world” (Stewart et al. 2004:22), the view of language as fundamental to what gives us a world, the perspective that language is socially and historically situated, that “meanings are relational” (Anderson et al. 2004:6), that understanding is what emerges out of a complex process contextualized by history, language and audience, and that meanings are not reproductions of ‘others’ understandings but something produced processually and collaboratively by participants who are speakers and listeners (Stewart et al. 2004; Anderson et al. 2004; Deetz and Simpson 2004). Gadamer’s contribution encourages us to see the processual creation of meaning that is grounded in context and relations through the use of language: Meaning that is essentially productive, rather than reproductive, and creative. Crowell (1990) highlights in Gadamer’s work, his privileging of the ontological in dialogue, the seeking after understanding as the essence of being human. In textual dialogue, Gadamer attends to the meaning that emerges through the process of questioning and answering, and positions the text as the ‘other’ in the I−Thou relationship that is so essential to dialogue. Dialogue theorists draw from Gadamer’s work his premise that an author’s intent is not pre-set as a truth “waiting to be excavated” (Anderson et al. 2004:3) by the reader, that in dialogue participants are not bound by the ‘others’ interpretation, and that  32 humans are in essence understanders (Crowell 1990; Weick 1995; Anderson et al. 2004; Stewart et al. 2004; Gergen 2009). Maranhão (1990) and Crowell (1990) both recognize Gadamer for his contribution to the notion of symmetry and goodwill among participants: a goodwill that is characterised by listening to ‘other’ and symmetry in access to participation in the dialogue itself. Optimistically, Maranhão (1990) attributes to Gadamer the possibility of hope through dialogue: a hope that in dialogue, interpretation can bring us to understanding and in that hope, the possibility for bringing forth both ontological truth and ethical justice.  Gadamer (1982) also brings to dialogue the idea of horizons of understanding. In hermeneutics, the idea of horizon,  expresses the wide, superior vision that the person who is seeking to understand must have. To acquire a horizon means that one learns to look beyond what is close at hand…to see it better within a larger whole and in truer proportion. (272) For Gadamer horizons of understanding bring to us a heightened awareness that there are limits to our own understanding because of our situatedness. As insiders to the situation in which we find ourselves, we can never fully understand because we ourselves are historically situated. He argues that since our situation limits our vision, this in itself suggests a horizon to our understanding. One who seeks to understand, senses the horizon that limits them and attempts to find a further horizon. One who does not seek to understand is content with what lies close to them. Horizons are constituted by our prejudices and in addressing them through questions, we begin to distinguish differences and open ourselves up to the possibility of something beyond the horizon established by our current understanding. Summary Each of the theorists explored in this section have had significant influence on contemporary dialogue theory. Martin Buber’s influence on the open and authentic presencing to ‘other’ grounds dialogue theory in human relationship both philosophically and in practice. The emphasis on the quality of relationship as a pre-requisite of dialogue can be seen as a conscious choice one makes to view ‘other’ wholeheartedly and subjectively, rather than as  33 object. Paulo Freire demonstrates this in his exploration of the nature of oppressor–oppressed relationships and the requirement of genuine relationship as a precursor to dialogue as an emancipatory act. Freire’s influences on dialogue are seen through the foregrounding of the word. Through a true word, one that is both reflection and action, humans name the world – a creative and constituting act. The Freireian concept of naming the world finds resonance in Gadamer’s thinking which places the essence of humanness in language and the understanding that emerges. In relationship and with words, humans create something that has not existed and is not a reproduction of existing understandings. This something—a meaning or understanding—emerges, as Freire, Gadamer and Bakhtin describe as on the horizon of consciousness (Maranhão 1990; Bakhtin 1990; Crowell 1990; Freire 2011).  For Hans-Georg Gadamer and Paulo Freire, the themes that exist in our reality are first understood before they are ‘seen.’ Freire’s (2011) focus on critical conscientização describes learning to see the “oppressive elements of reality” (35) in order to act on them. For Freire, the recovery of voice to name the limit-situations of the “human-world” (106) in the “historical-cultural context” (108) relationship leads to emergence. With emergent understanding people can objectively make problematic something that was previously unseen. This notion of something that exists but cannot be seen until understood presents as a horizon of understanding. Only as people fuse their horizons through dialogue, does understanding emerge and action result. Critical to Freire’s praxis is that the naming of what exists on the horizon, cannot be named for people by ‘others’: “it is only as they rethink their assumptions in action that they can change” (108). Mikhail Bakhtin brings to dialogue a fresh and unique understanding of society as examined through language. His perspectives on utterance, heteroglossia, and polyphony resonate within dialogue theory in a valuing of unfinalizability in meaning creation, the openness to hearing and celebrating of differences,  34 and the dynamic and fluid nature of language creation that stands against certitude and closure. Contemporary Dialogue Theory Contemporary perspectives of dialogue have moved away from seeing dialogue as a method for establishing truth (as when the idea that can best be argued emerges as truth) and towards a processual view in which the focus is on how we know, how understanding emerges, and how moral and ethical rightness is known (Gadamer 1984; Maranhão 1990; Stewart and Zediker 2000; Wood 2004; Belova, King and Silwa 2008). In the presence of a genuine relationship with ‘other,’ one’s identities, horizons, and understandings become reshaped and we emerge to interact with our world, our understanding, and our reality differently (Gadamer 1984; Bakhtin 1990; Buber 2004; Wood 2004; Black 2008; Heidlebaugh 2008; Freire 2011). Black (2008) captures the notion of being changed in dialogic moments in her description of the use of storytelling as part of an online forum called Listening to the City. In her example, two participants explore their experience of, and their reaction to the events of 9/11. Through sharing their personal experience of the event, as well as their own social-historical-cultural perspectives and aspects of identity, the use of the terms ‘us’ and ‘them’ shift throughout the interaction as their sense of identity and connection to ‘other’ evolves and emerges as something different from where they began. The impact of dialogic moments can be simple and yet profound, as an individual’s “experiences are connected with larger social issues worthy of public consideration” (Black 2008:104). From a processual perspective, Freire (2011) describes the experience of dialogue as a human phenomenon where authentic words have the potential to transform reality. This is a powerful notion that is mirrored in the 20th century theoretical roots of dialogue, and in the grappling with the successes and failures of human interactions to create transformation. The human phenomenon inherent in contemporary dialogue rests in the notion of Self and  35 Other and moves away from the notion of self as bounded and separate (Maranhão 1990; Arnett 2004; Buber 2004; Shotter 2008). In dialogue, participants hold the tensionality of their self, even as they fuse to some degree their perspectives and conceptual and historical horizons with ‘others’ (Baxter 2004; Stewart and Zediker 2000; Maranhão 1990). Fostering dialogue also requires a conscious awareness of self, including knowing one’s own perspective and a thoughtful intention to hold oneself open to ‘other.’ Stewart and Zediker (2000) argue that this tension of “letting the other happen to me while holding my own ground” (232) is the primary tension in dialogue and that, in the moment “the other happens to me while and as I hold my own ground” (234). Their experience in a teaching setting has demonstrated that, for many students, there is a discipline that can be developed in which a choice is made to listen to the ‘other’ and to hold one’s own ground that holds open the possibility of dialogue.  Dialogue is responsiveness in relationship (Anderson and Cissna 1997; Cissna and Anderson 1998; Hyde and Bineham 2000; Stewart and Zediker 2000; Anderson et al. 2004; Arnett 2004; Baxter 2004; Buber 2004; Pearce and Pearce 2004; Stewart et al. 2004; Wood 2004; Black 2008; Shotter 2008; White 2008). The nature of the relationship is characterized by openness, authenticity, a longing for ‘other,’ and a willingness to be changed in the moment as utterances intermingle and meaning and understanding emerge—to create rather than to reproduce understanding. For Shotter (2008), “our expressive acts in their temporal contouring, that is in their ‘emotional-volitional’ tone (Bakhtin 1993), can exert an influence on the others around us, thus to shape not only their actions but their very way of being in the world” (503). The responsiveness inherent in dialogue is also the practice of listening. Wood (2004) characterizes the responsiveness as “depending less on self-expression and other transmissional aspects of communication than upon responsiveness” (xvi), where the “elusive goal of unity becomes less important than the process of learning to listen” (xviii).  36 One’s listening becomes the mark of one’s presence when self is decentred from the co-creation of meaning in dialogue (Maranhão 1990; Anderson et al. 2004). Shotter (2008) elaborates the experience of listening and co-creating meaning in his exploration of Bakhtin’s notion of polyphony and suggests there is a need to attend not just to the words spoken and our cognitive understanding but also to the emotional-volitional tone that shifts our awareness towards living events as they are emerging.  Contemporary dialogue theorists also speak of symmetry within dialogue. Crowell (1990) holds that symmetry is what drew Gadamer to dialogue—symmetry between “equally ignorant” (344) participants. In this symmetry the object of interest is elevated above the interests of the participants and requires selflessness and a setting aside of one’s own convictions to achieving a “fusion of horizons” (344). In the dialogical process, neither party manipulates the discourse for reasons that are not the focus of the discourse itself. In the presence of symmetry, deep and focused listening leads to an understanding of the object of interest. As understanding emerges and a shared language is generated a bridge is created between the horizons of understanding the participants brought with them to the dialogue. This notion of horizons is attributed to the work of both Bakhtin and Gadamer (Maranhão1990).  Through dialogue, relational humans, as understanders, build understanding and co-constitute and name the world around them (Crapanzano 1990; Cissna and Anderson 1997; Pearce and Pearce 2004; Stewart et al. 2004; Wood 2004; Freire 2011). The responsiveness to the expression of ‘other’ can challenge previously held beliefs and deepen a shared understanding or meaning (Simpson 2008). The knowing that emerges in dialogue, however, is not a singular or dominant knowing. The mutuality that exists among participants, the deep listening for meaning, a listening without filters, shifts held beliefs and understandings in a way that does not demand consensus or unity and creates an opening to explore ‘other’s’ commitments and perspectives. Dialogue holds the tensions of  37 difference. Its multi-vocal, emergent, non linear, unfinalizability and its contextualized social-historical-cultural characteristics, challenge a desire for coherence, a need for certainty and requires of its participants an ability to hold ambiguity and indeterminacy (Deetz 1996; Dawson and Buchanan 2003; Baxter 2004; Pearce and Pearce 2004; Black 2008).  Dialogue, with its very essence of ‘being human in the world,’ experiences limits. In their 1957 dialogue, Martin Buber and Carl Roger explore the notion that dialogue occurs in moments, suggesting that dialogue is less conducive to being structured and planned and, as Buber describes, is a moment that can surprise. If dialogue is indeed the essence of what it means to be human, and it is in relationship with ‘other’ where we encounter our humanness and in our humanness we are understanders in the world, then one would expect dialogue to be almost common and not worthy of notice. Yet the opposite appears to be true. Poulos (2008) describes his search for glimpses of the magic of dialogue in the everydayness of life and how, it eludes me. Often. But then out of the blue, it comes upon me, often when I am least prepared for it … it is a moment where the light of truth and co-being and joyous engagement infuses the human spirit … Indeed, sometimes … we may find ourselves dancing in the light of dialogue. (119) In their consideration of dialogue as prescriptive or an ideal, Stewart and Zediker (2000) hold that dialogue is a “situated relational accomplishment” (230). A situated relational moment where a seemingly intractable issue can became a creative moment through openness to a possibility to see a linguistic term in a different way (Heidlebaugh 2008). For those who choose a posture of dialogue, there is a realization that  there are many ways to “do” dialogue, and one cannot predict in advance exactly what it will take for this quality of contact to come into being. Dialogue can be enhanced or blocked by such features as the time available, exigencies of space, the presence or absence of an audience, role definitions, and cultural norms. (Stewart and Zediker 2000:230) Buber explores symmetry and mutuality as important elements in dialogue and by implication suggests that their absence will create an impediment   38 (Anderson and Cissna 1997). The notion of expert may preclude the presence of dialogue as it brings asymmetry, privileges one way of knowing and meaning over ‘others’ and, thus, marginalizes the voices of ‘others.’ Any prevention of an ‘other’s’ ability to name with words is an act of dehumanizing and prevents the communion that is the essence of dialogue (Freire 2011). Freire (2011) presents an argument for the requirement of a willing communion with an ‘other’ for dialogue to exist. He states emphatically that, individuals who oppress, who resist seeing the oppressed in their humanity objectify and dehumanize ‘other,’ preventing the possibility of dialogue. An unwillingness to see ‘other’ as subject closes off the possibility of dialogic understanding.  Anti-dialogical actions of oppressors can include conquest (making a possession of ‘other’), divide and rule (preventing the unification of people), manipulation (conforming ‘others’ to the dominants objectives), and cultural invasion (penetrating the ‘other’s’ culture and imposing a world view) (Freire 2011). Similarly, Zoller (2000) identifies the presence of authority and power as impediments to dialogue in her study of a Healthy Communities initiative. She acknowledges that, in practice, it may be unrealistic to remove completely the vestiges of power and authority; yet finds hope in the possibility of individuals who hold power and authority to relinquish their roles in order to engage in dialogue.  Dialogue theory is distinguished from other forms of ‘conversation,’ ‘discourse’ and ‘communication’ by its support for the recovery of voice, the value of multiple perspectives, the discovery and management of difference, the creation of identity, the social construction of meaning, and the widening of our conversations “to more fully explore the complexities of other people’s commitments” (Black 2008:95; Isaacs 1999; Deetz 2003; Deetz and Simpson 2004; Bebbington et al. 2007; Black 2008). Dialogue theory draws our attention to a holistic framing through which meanings, understanding, relationship, responsiveness, reflection, and action exist and emerge.  39 Summary The work of contemporary dialogue theorists’ foreground the complex interplay of the numerous nuances and details of the dialogic moment, including the constituents, the constituting process, the context, and the momentary meaning that is constituted. The relational responsiveness of the constituents, the individuals who participate dialogically with one another, requires a presencing, an openness, a mutuality, and a listening that is engaging of mind and emotion. The constituting of meaning and reality at a point in time involves the humanization of an ‘other,’ the connection of utterances with other utterances, the forces of language construction that tug between emergent meanings and pre-existing meanings, the decentering of self and the centering of the object of meaning. In this constituting, multiple voices are present and yet no voice is privileged as the unity is in the event rather than a single ideology. Dialogue preserves and, yet alters the self and the identities of the constituents.  The challenge to dialogue lies in the ability to create awareness that the process of meaning making and understanding is emergent and creative. Contextually, dialogue exists in moments that are historically, socially, and culturally situated and each participant brings with them their identities and utterances that both pre-exist and are formed in the process. Each participant’s language and expression contains their own social-cultural-historical context and leads to an expectation of heteroglossia—meaning made in language that is emergent, changing, localized, and nationalized, ever in flux, and multi voiced. The richness of dialogue is in the merging of horizons of understanding to elucidate a new awareness of what was not known before in tension with the knowing and responsiveness to ‘other.’ That which is constituted in dialogue, the meanings and understandings co-created, creates action as participants respond to what is constituted and to one another in new ways, thus influencing and changing the world around them. Importantly, what is co-constituted dialogically is not fixed. It is a momentary unity of experience and understanding  40 amongst the participants that creates shifts in understandings and in identities that are brought with them into subsequent dialogic experiences. Social Justice Theorized My research question is focused on the meanings we co-construct of what is just when we are engaged with ‘others.’ In the previous section I reviewed the literature on dialogue theory to build an understanding of how meanings emerge within relational space. Yet I wanted to also hear and attend to the language forces, the narratives, and the utterances brought to the research conversations that might be shaping the meanings we hold. To foreground these pre-formed utterances I review in this section, selected literature on constructed meanings of social justice.  Current thinking on social justice is the expression of thought that comes from centuries of human experience. Mikhail Bakhtin’s (1990) perspectives on language and heteroglossia suggest that the language, meaning, and understanding of social justice is ever evolving, being constituted and re-constituted through the interplay of lived experiences. In a rapidly globalizing world, these meanings now refract a broader logo-sphere than has, perhaps been experienced before in history. If an utterance exists in the context and flow of previous and subsequent utterances then our understanding of social justice and human rights will continue to emerge and be reshaped, as we dialogically co-constitute with ‘others’ in our worlds.  The meanings I explore here arise from the frames and perspectives shaped by the narrative and discourse of each authors’ discipline, culture, history, and lived experience. While meanings of social justice are often presented in the literature as definitive, there continues to be contesting across the disciplines and within the disciplines of what is just. A comment on terminology at this point may be helpful. In the social justice and human rights academic literatures and in our everyday conversations, a variety of terms are used interchangeably or in complementary ways including global justice, human rights,  41 social justice, justice, social responsibility, and ethics. It is often difficult to differentiate clearly the meanings attributed to each term as they appear across disciplines and are explored from a broad range of discourse perspectives and traditions. In this literature review, I have selected literature from three fields of discourse in which these broader terms are encountered: political philosophy, anthropology, and corporate social responsibility. Looking for the contextual constituting of the meanings for these terms as they are presented in the literature, my intent is to elucidate the meanings that are emerging and being contested, as well as the meanings that may be presumed to be static, neutral or contrived. I begin with creating a historical context for modern notions of human rights and social justice along with an exploration of the notion of ‘other’ as it appears in the selected social justice and human rights literature.  The Context for Human Rights and Social Justice Both the Enlightenment and the Western emphasis on, and belief in, individualism and rationality have significantly influenced the discourses on human rights and social justice taking place today. In her book, Inventing Human Rights, Lynn Hunt (2007) outlines a historical perspective on the development of Western human rights thinking through the influence of the social changes that gave birth to the American and French Declarations in the 1700s. She contends that the discourse of rights in the 18th century, developed from the growing expression of autonomy and individualism within European and American society. Hunt (2007) makes the case that, in that same social and cultural era, the influences of literature and art created the opportunity for the development of empathy in the minds of individuals for ‘others,’ contributing to significant social shifts in conceptualizing ‘otherness.’ These foundational ideas of individualism, empathy and, ‘otherness' continue to shape the utterances in today’s human rights and social justice discourses.  The notion of inherent rights being held by all men can be traced back to the 1700s. There is expressed a ‘self-evidence’ of human rights articulated in the 1776 United States  42 Declaration of Independence and in the French Declaration of 1789. Both texts state an assumption of the inherent internal or interior knowing of the essence of human rights in their opening statements. The American Declaration of Independence states: “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights” (Hunt 2007:216). The French Declaration states: “considering that ignorance, neglect or contempt of the rights of man are the sole causes of public misfortunes and governmental corruption, have resolved to set forth in a solemn declaration the natural, inalienable and sacred rights of man” (220).  In the 18th century, language that was in prevalent use within discourses of rights represented these inherent rights as ‘natural rights,’ ‘human rights,’ ‘rights of humanity,’ and the ‘rights of mankind.’ The meanings attributed to these terms served to distinguish humans and their rights from those of the divine and of the animals. Hunt (2007) notes that the idea of rights in the American and European context of that era contained little on the specific definitions of these rights and, while the concepts were not expressed within any political mandate, their three interlocking qualities were clearly that they were natural, equal and universal. Ensuring these rights still required political structures and processes, yet their articulation began to redefine the social relationships of humans with one another within European and American society.  At the same time, strong social norms, practices and beliefs shaped the understanding of the ‘other’ to whom these natural, equal and universal rights were extended. To have rights in the 18th century, it was thought that one must be capable of holding “independent moral judgement” (Hunt 2007:27). The underlying assumptions about an individual’s ability to reason and make moral judgement gave rise to distinctions between those who, by the social standards of the day were determined to hold “the ability to and the independence to decide for oneself” (28) and those who were not. On this determination,  43 rights were not extended to ‘others’ who were children, insane, slaves, without property, or women.  Richard Rorty (1993) suggests that ‘otherness’ has been used throughout history by humans who have sought to distinguish themselves, not just from animals, but from ‘other’ humans who are not like us. He summarizes three paradigms that have been used to distinguish us from ‘others.’ The first is the human–animal distinction in which we view unjust and atrocious behaviour as something that the ‘other’ group has always engaged in and, therefore, we are not like them. Whether the ‘other ‘is the Nazis exterminating the Jews, the Serbian participant in ethnic cleansing, rape and personal degradation, or the participant in the ethnic conflict in Rwanda, we view them as different, like animals, and borderline examples of humanity.  The second paradigm described by Rorty (1993) is the ‘other’ as childlike. A child cannot make autonomous moral decisions and therefore holds a different level of humanity. ‘Others’ may be considered ‘like a child’ because of their level of education or are thought to be un-educable, and thus, their humanity is denied and their access to self-determination and power are limited. The third is to consider those who are non-male to be non-human – and on that basis rights are either accorded to them or denied to them. A fourth paradigm not addressed by Rorty (1993) is cultural superiority—the notion that Euro-Western cultures have achieved a level of moral functioning that respects rights, and is therefore morally superior to ‘other’ cultures. The morally inferior cultures are seen as needing to adopt Euro-Western ideas of rights, or their cultural ideas of rights would not be afforded the same level of protection (Brown 1997).  Philosophically the idea of ‘other’ continues to be present in our language as our humanness, and our subjective and intersubjective experiences of our social reality, are explored and contested. Who we see as ‘other,’ how we see ourselves in ‘other,’ what we believe about ‘other,’ and how we interact with ‘other’ has occupied the thought of  44 philosophers for centuries. It is important to be aware that just as ‘other’ runs as a theme throughout the literature on dialogue theory it is also integral in the discourses on human rights and social justice (Rorty 1993; Lyotard 1993; Brown 1997; Buber 2004; Freire 2011).  Hunt (2007) suggests that in the context of emerging individualism and autonomy throughout the 18th century and the associated social shifts then occurring, that it was through empathy—the understanding that ‘others’ who are ‘like me’ could have rights ‘like mine’—that the attribution of rights to ‘others’ became actionable. The recognition of who is ‘like me,’ however, continued to be filtered through the social norms and political structures of the times. Hunt (2007) goes further to propose the role of empathy and autonomy as cultural practices through which human rights are extended. She suggests that empathy and autonomy  are not just ideas...they are therefore quite literally embodied, that is, they have physical and emotional dimensions... Empathy depends on the recognition that others feel and think as we do, that our inner feelings are alike in some fundamental fashion...Human rights depend both on self-possession and on the recognition that all others are equally self-possessed. It is in the incomplete development of the latter that gives rise to all the inequalities of rights that have preoccupied us throughout all history. (29)  This lack of a sense of sameness, the incomplete development of seeing the ‘other’ as autonomous and empathetic, is perhaps an inherent and underlying aspect in the search for social justice that will always confound humanity. This tension between sameness and difference becomes refracted in the broader human rights and social justice debates such as between universalism and relativism. For some theorists, this incompleteness in seeing the ‘other’ as autonomous and ‘like me’ is attributable to our subjective and intersubjective position to the world and the sense of boundedness that we create (Karagiannis and Wagner 2007; Scheper-Hughes 2002). The risk, in the desire to establish boundaries through a set of objective and universal principles for human rights, as promoted in the western liberal human rights frame, may lie in the loss of the generative possibilities diversity and difference offer.   45 Karagiannis and Wagner (2007) bring this view of boundedness for ‘individuals’ and ‘otherness’ into their work on diversity in world-making. Their multiple world-making perspectives are grounded in a belief that each individual exists in a reflexive position to the world around them. Individuals draw boundaries around themselves as part of the process of sense-making and conceptualizing of ‘other.’ Situated in time and context, this notion of boundedness can be seen as a fractal pattern that is present in societies, communities, politics and individuals. Societies construct boundaries of inclusion and exclusion, as do nations and communities. In praxis this boundedness may appear fixed in time, however, many researchers and theorists suggest that the boundedness is ephemeral and fluid, open to being changed by the discourses and relationalities that it spawns, demonstrating the centripetal and centrifugal nature of language and meaning creation (Cowan, Dembour and Wilson 2001; Dembour 2001; Speed 2006; Karagiannis and Wagner 2007).  Nancy Scheper-Hughes (2002) observes that, when our boundedness becomes fixed and static, the boundaries that are constructed to separate us from the ‘other’ can foster the seeds of genocide and lead to policies of mass destruction. She explores this boundedness as it is expressed in everyday lives and argues that our denial of the ‘other’ through the creation of boundedness can lead to objectification, de-humanization and de-personalization, creating separateness of space and people. This separateness can be found in our social structures and institutions and can lay the foundation for genocide through the everyday violence that becomes normalized in the process of acting out “basic strangeness” (Scheper-Hughes 2002:32) towards ‘others.’  The events of the Second World War are powerful examples of how the cumulative effect of storytelling and narrative can shift discourses and perceptions away from the boundedness of nation states and towards an understanding of the connectedness of humanity across boundaries. Nazi Germany vividly demonstrated to the world the consequences of institutionalized ‘otherness,’ and created an opening for human rights and  46 social justice to became formalized in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR was viewed as a moral act by the global community and a stepping beyond the boundaries and frameworks of nation states in order to set limits on the internal actions of a regime towards their citizens (Messer 1993; Brown 1997; Smith and Schaeffer 2004; Goodale 2006a; Fraser 2007; Forst 2010).  For the later part of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century, the UDHR and the universal human rights framework that it offers have defined human rights discourses. In establishing a declaration of human rights, world leaders established a world or universal standard by which the acts of nations and groups could both aspire toward and could be judged against. The UDHR has become “the foundation for the entire range of legal frameworks, interventions, institutional interventions, and discourse that is captured by the phrase human rights” (Goodale 2006a:1; Messer 1993; Smith and Schaeffer 2004).  Yet even at its inception the UDHR was not without controversy. Over the subsequent decades human rights and social justice discourses and debates have been sustained across academic and intellectual disciplines, cultures and geopolitical boundaries. These debates continue to be re-ignited when acts of war, ethnic cleansing, famines, nationalist inspired murder and genocide, and localized injustices sponsored by economic and political agendas take place (Miller 1991; Messer 1993; Shute and Hurley 1993; Smith and Schaeffer 2004; Follesdal and Pogge 2005; Farmer 2005; Cowan 2006; Goodale 2006b; Merry 2006; Orbinski 2008; Mining Watch Canada 2012).  Four generations of human rights have evolved since the UDHR was written in 1948 (Messner 1993). The first generation, defined by political and civil rights, focused on the “basic security of persons” (Messner 1993:222). The second generation, characterized by social democracy movements, saw the addition of socioeconomic and cultural rights into formal frameworks. The third generation, characterized by the entry of Third World nations into the discourse, brought in the recognition of collective rights and the development of  47 rights to peace. Finally, the fourth generation has resulted in recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples to self-determination and control of resources. Each generation of discourse, in turn, has laid the groundwork for the next generation of thinking and understanding to emerge. In her examination of the historical search for social justice by Latin American women, Francesca Miller (1991) introduces the notions of abertura, an opening, and parenthése, “a brief break but little change in politics as usual” (xiv). Human rights scholar Michael Ignatieff (2002) poses a question of whether or not the era of human rights is coming to an end. The question itself would suggest an assumption of the fragility of the human rights regime and serve as a call to vigilance. There lies the possibility of subsequent generations of human rights alongside the possibility of experiencing a modern day parenthése.  Summary The last three centuries have ushered in an era of rich discourse on human rights and social justice. When examined from the perspective of competing understandings, the places of contestation become clearer. Beginning in the 1700s with important societal statements that linked the idea of rights to the notion of being human, a historical, cultural, social, and language journey has been travelled. Exactly what these rights are, to whom they apply, to whom do they not apply, and the means by which they are upheld have been theorized, institutionalized, challenged and re-interpreted. The literature I have explored here serves to highlight and affirm the notion that our meanings and understanding continue to develop in fluid and unfinalizable ways. Political Philosophy, Social Justice, and Human Rights  The purpose of this section is to explore the themes of social justice that appear in the political science discourse to create a broad awareness of the thinking and the places of contestation. Beginning with an overview of John Rawls’ Theory of Justice and the role of  48 social institutions on social justice, I briefly explore the impact of globalization and ‘otherness’ on justice theory. Political philosophy draws our attention to the characteristics of a society and the impact of these characteristics on justice for its citizens, the role of social institutions and their practices in perpetuating or alleviating situations of injustice, the normative principles that may or may not be required to sustain a just society, and the impact of globalization on human rights and social justice frameworks. There is much to be contested in political philosophy discourse and almost every author reviewed for this paper presented nuanced theoretical perspectives through which to view the principles of justice, the assumptions underlying the agency of individuals and the role of social institutions, the role of power, and the competition between core values, such as individualism, collectivism, communitarianism, universalism, and relativism.  A dominantly normative, rational, and liberal narrative is evident in the work of influential philosophers such as John Rawls and in the theories of justice currently influencing national and transnational policies and frameworks (Fraser 1996; Mertens 2005; Karagiannis and Wagner 2007; Pogge 2007). Rawls (1971,1993) grappled with presenting a theory of justice that would articulate a set of fairness principles for social institutions (Shute and Hurley 1993; Rorty 1993; Tyler, Boeckmann, Smith and Huo 1997; Mertens 2005; Fraser 2007; Pogge 2007). Created as a theory of justice as fairness within an ideal social context, Rawls’ (1971) ideas were presented as principles for the working of social institutions to ensure the protection of the inviolability of people “that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override” (3) based on the belief that justice principles could be logically reasoned and embedded into social institutions.  Follesdal and Pogge (2005) acknowledge Rawls for establishing the domain of social institutions as a locus for moral assessment and linking social institutions with “the terms justice and social justice” (4). For Rawls, the notion of social institutions is distinguished from  49 the organizational entities themselves and he refers instead to the rules and practices that structure the relationships and contribute to the ordering of a society (Pogge 2007). The founding of social institutions based upon the principles of justice as fairness is therefore fundamental to Rawls’ theory of justice and to his concept of social justice (Pogge 2007). Rawls (1971) states that social justice is established when “the primary subject of justice is the basic structure of society, or more exactly, the way in which the major social institutions distribute fundamental rights and duties and determine the division of advantages from social cooperation” (7). The importance of embedding justice principles into social institutions is founded in the recognition that, inequalities that occur in the economic, political and social circumstances of life and the favour created for some over others can be pervasive and profound in their impact (Rawls 1971; Follesdal and Pogge 2005).  Recognition of social institutions and the role they play in social issues such as poverty, unemployment and other economic inopportunity is thought to be a relatively recent phenomenon. Follesdal and Pogge (2005) note the consolidation in thinking that became evident in the first half of the 20th century, with a shift from an assumption that individuals singularly bore responsibility for their ability to achieve social, economic and political mobility within society, to a perspective that recognized the role of governments in the design of institutions and their responsibility in creating institutions that contributed to or constrained human need.  The discourses of Western justice theorists, whether focused on principles for fairness, just distribution of resources or, on procedural justice and recognition, until recently, have also been built on a frame that presumes the context and dominance of the modern and territorial nation state (Rawls 1993; Fraser 1996, 2005, 2007; Tyler et al. 1997; Forst 2001; Follesdal and Pogge 2005; Mertens 2005). Described by Nancy Fraser as the “Keynesian-Westphalian frame” (2005:69, 2007), issues of justice were assumed to belong within the boundaries of the state, were related to concerns between citizens of the state,  50 and were subject to debate and redress within the boundaries of the state. Social justice was understood to be the resolution that citizens within modern territorial states owed to one another. With “equal standing before the law...[and] equality of opportunity...all citizens gain access to the resources and respect they need in order to be able to participate on a par with others.”  Arguments became focused on “what should count as a just ordering of social relations within a society” (Fraser 2007:194).  The ‘who’ for whom justice was being argued, were the citizens within the national territorial state. The debates about justice were viewed as taking place within primarily national discourses, addressing the fair distribution and access to national resources, the responsibilities citizens owed to one another, the responsibility of the state to their citizens, and issues of recognition as citizens by the nation state (Fraser 2007). The major claims from schools of justice include socioeconomic distribution or redistribution, legal or cultural recognition, relative deprivation with the distribution of goods and services, procedural justice as the perception of fairness in conflict resolution or allocations, and retributive justice or, the reaction of people to the consequences received by those who break the rules of society (Fraser 1996, 2005; Forst 2001; Follesdal and Pogge 2005; Tyler et al. 1997). Regardless of the theoretical thinking about the ‘what’ of justice and the norms that shape it, the presumption was that the ‘who’ of the justice question were the citizens of the nation, and the nature of the nation state was liberal and democratic (Fraser 2005; Rawls 1993; Gould 2004).  The discourse within political philosophy in relation to the context of justice, shifted dramatically in the 1990s as a result of globalization. Globalization in this context is primarily expressed in economic terms and is seen in the presence, role and interconnectedness of transnational agencies and the expansion of multinational corporations into developing countries (Gould 2004; Fraser 2005, 2007; Karagiannis and Wagner 2007). Globalization was seen as a destabilizer of the nation state frame, within which theories of justice had  51 been constructed and, as a result, changed the arguments about social justice (Fraser 2005).  The influences of social institutions on the lives of people now extend beyond the boundaries of the state. Economic policy is viewed globally. Goods move around the world throughout the production and marketing processes. The activities and influence of transnational institutions and corporations transcend national boundaries as capital and knowledge each move around the globe with disregard for borders. Global issues now require sovereign governments to respond within the context of global strategies and solutions (Fraser 2005). The impact of globalization on social justice has shifted claims of redistribution from national economies to the creation of transnational alliances. The agencies from whom justice is being sought has shifted from national governments to the “governance structures of the global economy” (Fraser 2005:71) and has led to the creation of new institutions and mechanisms by which transnational corporations can be regulated (Follesdal and Pogge 2005; Kuper 2005).  The impact of transnational political, economic and social activity over the past two to three decades created an imperative to theorize a global frame for justice (Rawls 1993; Fraser 2005, 2007; Kuper 2005). Since the early 1990s, the degree of shift necessary in the frame for justice within the context of globalization has become the preoccupation of a number of political theorists. In 1993 Thomas Pogge wrote on the notion of cosmopolitanism and laid out a position for institutional cosmopolitanism based on human rights. Rainier Forst, in 2001, pursued a theory of transnational justice through a critical theoretical frame. In 2004, Carol Gould pursued democratic decision making, within a global frame as the locus for justice. Nancy Fraser (2007) took a further step and challenged the normative–social–scientific approach that has been dominant within the discipline of political science, offering for consideration alternative discourse conceptions of what justice means.  52 Cosmopolitanism begins with the idea that all human beings, regardless of citizenship, ethnicity or other political and cultural differences share a common morality. Pogge (1993) identified three elements common to cosmopolitanism as individualism, universality and generality. Individualism holds that the core ‘unit’ of concern is each human being, rather than groupings of people based on some criteria of membership (i.e., family, community or religion). Universality holds that the rights or status attributable to human beings are equally applied to all. Generality holds that rights or status have worldwide or global force and application. Pogge (1993) further identified that cosmopolitanism is generally held to have two distinctions: legal cosmopolitanism, that is, the idea of a global governance structure within which all people would have equal standing, rights and duties; and, moral cosmopolitanism, which is the idea that all people stand in moral relationship to one another.  It is within the conceptual space of moral cosmopolitanism, including the moral analysis of the social institutions that have and are developing within globalization, where human rights, social justice and global justice discourses primarily rest. While there may be a drift towards legal cosmopolitanism within these discussions in considering alternatives to existing institutions, the focus is primarily on the moral assessment of the institutions which we (as humans) create and the choices we make in the rules and practices that become embedded into them. The underlying premise is that, our global institutions have impacts on human lives. Pogge (1993) argued that the present global economic regime produces a stable pattern of widespread malnutrition and starvation among the poor... and there are likely to be feasible alternative regimes that would not produce similarly severe deprivations. In such a case of avoidable deprivations, we are confronted not by persons who are merely poor and starving but also by victims of an institutional scheme—impoverished and starved. There is an injustice in this economic scheme. (56) Rainer Forst (2001) offers a different stance from Pogge’s moral institutional cosmopolitanism perspective as the context for global justice. Taking a transnational view of  53 justice within a critical theoretical frame, Forst (2001) positions his argument for transnational justice outside the confines of the statist and globalist positions as the locus for resolution. He accepts that issues of justice transcend national boundaries; however, he seeks an alternative context for addressing “conflicting claims that call for adjudication in light of principles of justice” (161). His challenge lies in the true nature of these transnational relationships and deems them as sufficiently lacking in reciprocity that they cannot be considered as interdependent and cooperative. Rather, he suggests they represent a context of injustice and characterizes the relationships as a “context of force and domination” (166) in which poor countries are placed in subordinate and disadvantaged positions.  Forst (2001) argues that a critical theory of justice starts with a recognition of multiple dominations and that the deeper roots of injustice, as expressed in extreme inequality and poverty, lies not in distributive or economic justice but in the question of power. He side-steps the debate of the frame for justice as being either domestic or global and argues for core principles that allow particular political contexts to be the locus of justice, while holding to a universal individual right to justification. Justification, for Forst (2001, 2010), is the premise that all human beings are treated in a way that can only be justified by their standing as a person equal to ‘others.’ In other words, each person has the right “to be respected as autonomous agents who have the right not to be subjected to certain actions or institutional norms that cannot be adequately justified to them” (712). The outcome of a transnational justice discourse based on principles will lead, he argues, to the establishment of basic structures, both within and between domestic societies, and will create equal relationships and influence between domestic states and begin to alleviate oppression and injustice. Carol Gould, in her book Globalizing Democracy and Human Rights (2004) also explores the impact of globalization on the rights of people to the basic conditions they  54 require for an adequate standard of living and the retention of cultural and social uniqueness in local settings. Gould builds her discussion on the observation that nation states are now less relevant to the locus of democratic decision-making that is required to secure social justice for all people. Taking a cosmopolitan perspective to globalization, Gould works from a premise that democratic decision-making creates a context for human rights and social justice through the equal participation of people in the decision-making processes that affect them.  Similar to Pogge (1993), Gould (2004) distinguishes between moral and political cosmopolitanism. However, in her work, she explores the application of democratic theory to political cosmopolitanism and underpins this approach with the assumption that democracy is the preferred political philosophy for ensuring human rights in part because “democratic participation is... a human right” (183). Gould is intentional in developing her framework for democracy and human rights in a globalizing world within a social ontology of humans in relationship with other humans. What stands in contrast to the more traditional and normative philosophical approaches to social justice and human rights in the context of globalization, is Gould’s stance that human rights are relational and build on the dignity and empathy we extend to one another—those close to us and those who are distant from us. Gould’s approach to globalization is essentially dialogic and processual. Her recognition of diverse perspectives and their contributions to global approaches to human rights and social justice, embraces both normative and feminist theoretical constructs and encourages the exploration of the ‘between’ spaces of personal, plural and global perspectives. Nancy Fraser ‘s (2007) contribution to the discourse on social justice in a globalizing world is to encourage a stepping back from the philosophical debate that has traditionally been grounded in a normative–social–scientific approach and to raise a challenge that this approach in itself needs to be re-examined. Fraser (2007) argues that globalization has changed the redistribution school of justice claims from what fellow citizens owe one  55 another, to how much inequality is permitted and amongst whom the inequalities are to be considered. Within the recognition school of justice, claims against status hierarchies are now being made in cosmopolitan institutions, such as the International Criminal Courts. In both schools of justice, the shift is significant and debates centre not solely on what justice is owed within a community but now includes questions of who is a member of the community and which community is involved.  The significant challenge that Nancy Fraser (2007) offers to the discourse is not which justice principles need to be embedded into global justice, nor which of the constructs of cosmopolitanism, internationalism or liberal nationalism best apply, but the question of “how, in a given case, should one determine the pertinent frame for reflecting on justice? By which criteria or decision procedure should one decide? And who is the ‘one’ who should determine the relevant frame?” (197). She argues that considerations of how the global frame is theorized cannot... be entrusted to a positivistically conceived social science. It must, rather, be handled dialogically in a multifaceted practical discourse that canvasses alternative conceptions...in full awareness of the internal relations between social knowledge and normative reflection. (204)  Fraser (2007) calls for a critical and democratic approach to the question of how the determination of the ‘who’ takes place in a globalizing world. Her challenge is to the inherent tendency of the normal–social–scientific perspective to objectify the subjects of justice, to assume that a given structure can be empirically determined in the absence of understanding the complexity and emergence of interdependencies, and the dependence on ‘experts’ rather than participants to determine the frames and the questions of justice. Critical and dialogue theory, she contends, are social theories that would offer understanding of alternatives for the framing of global justice.  56 Summary Political philosophy has been grounded in an ontology where the objective and ideal truth for the principles for social justice can be rationally determined and argued. Once established, these truths give the shape and form to social structures by which justice can be fostered. John Rawls treatise, A Theory of Justice (1971), is an artifact of this perspective and while well-reasoned, makes a number of assumptions regarding the society into which these principles will be embedded (liberal, democratic and stable) and that a normative and scientific approach is the way of knowing. Yet the need to re-frame the work as the events of the world unfold and to create change at multiple levels, is becoming more evident. In response, theorists are rethinking past knowledge in the context of current and emerging realities. Globalization is one of these changes and political philosophers have been challenged to re-articulate their liberal, democratic, and universal worldview within a reality in which an awareness of diverse worldviews, values, and principles is growing. ‘Otherness’ is becoming apparent as different subjectivities are explored, as critical discourses heighten the voices of those who are marginalized and oppressed, and as ways of knowing are broadened. Anthropology, Social Justice, and Human Rights Anthropology’s relationship with the human rights discourse over the past 60 years reflects in many ways the distinct perspective that anthropologists bring to the social sciences. Clifford Geertz (1984), in exhorting anthropologists to do what anthropologists have always done, articulates this perspective as one that sees the world, and the humans who inhabit it, in new ways and elucidates the manner in which previous perspectives were historically and culturally contextualized. More recently, Jane Cowan (2006) describes the work of anthropologists as empirically descriptive with a focus on linking the data of ‘what is’ with theory. In the area of human rights, she sees anthropologists bringing the reality of what is happening in the world in regard to rights and culture, into an active and reflective  57 engagement with theory to both refine the theories and re-frame the questions that need to be asked. In this section, the work of anthropologists in human rights and social justice will be overviewed. I explore the significance of anthropology’s relationship with the 1948 UDHR and the subsequent impact on the work of anthropologists, followed by examples of the current work being contributed by anthropology to human rights and social justice theory and practice. In the late 1940s, as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was being crafted, the perspective of leading academic anthropologist Melville Herskovits was sought to both endorse and legitimize the UDHR proposed “basic and universal moral facts” (Goodale 2006a:1; Merry 2001). Rather than responding with an affirming nod to the UDHR, Herskovits instead chose to reject the UDHR’s notion of universal human rights and the underlying theoretical frames of liberal individualism, based on empirical, epistemological and ethical grounds (Goodale 2006a; Cohen 1989; Messer 1993).  In the Executive Board of the American Anthropology Association’s (AAA) alternative statement—published as a position statement for American Anthropology in 1947—these grounds were articulated as the privileging of the respect for the individual, while neglecting cultural differences as being of equal importance (AAA 1947). The AAA effectively drew attention to the UDHR as a document that reflected the values and valuations and, therefore, the perception of basic rights, of the Western countries who participated in crafting it.  Goodale (2006a) recounts that the AAA (1947) identified three principles on which to base their rejection of the possibility of a universal declaration of rights. First, the AAA saw the UDHR as disrespectful of moral and ethical systems that differed from Western perspectives and, in asserting a universality of rights these Western perspectives could only become prescriptive rather than descriptive. Second, the UDHR was seen as a normative judgement that established a comparison of other cultural practices to a set of universal  58 rights, an epistemology the AAA could not support. Third, the UDHR was seen as a representation of moral imperialism intended for use in reshaping the world to a preferred standard that would lead to a loss of freedoms for cultures whose ideas and practices of rights differed.  Taking this stance at a time when the world was recently shaken by the Second World War atrocities of Nazism, likely contributed to a general misunderstanding of the arguments presented by the AAA and served to effectively marginalize anthropology from discourses on human rights and exclude human rights as a sustained topic of interest in anthropology until the 1980s (Goodale 2006a; Messer 1993; Merry 2006; Speed 2006). It is also plausible that the stance taken by the AAA in 1947 did serve to hold open ideational space for alternative perspectives that influenced subsequent discourses on human rights.  The references to cultural relativism in current human rights discourses and the sensitivities to accusations of ethnocentrism that emerged from the debates of the late 1940s, appear pervasively in the literature and appear to have shaped the discourse of human rights in other disciplines. In some situations, the arguments for cultural relativism have been used to the detriment of a nation’s citizens, while in other cases the debates of cultural relativism have been used to extend and broaden the understanding and language of the practice of human rights within societies and cultures (Follesdal 2005; Odinkalu 1999; Jaggar 2005; Messer 1993).  The cultural relativism argument proffered by the AAA in 1947, has also served a critical role in maintaining sensitivity to the perceived polarity between the privileged values of universality and individuality expressed in the UDHR and the elided values of diversity and collectivism. Cultural relativism has played the role of the ‘pebble in the shoe,’ an uncomfortable irritant within many discourse traditions and thus contributed to surfacing the complexities inherent in the translation of human rights and social justice theory to practice  59 and social change (Cohen 1989; Messer 1993; Farmer 2005; Goodale 2006a; Bhambra 2007; Karagiannis and Wagner 2007).  Since the 1980s, anthropology has begun to experience a resurgence of interest in human rights (Goodale 2006a; Cohen 1989; Messer 1993). Mark Goodale (2006a) attributes this resurgence to a small number of key anthropologists who helped to produce, within the discipline, a “distinctive anthropological reorientation to human rights” (4). Clifford Geertz’s 1989 lecture, titled Anti Anti–Relativism, initiated within the discipline’s discourse, a different approach to considering human rights and the work of anthropologists. Geertz (1984) positioned the initial notion of cultural relativism as the fear of the accusations of provincialism. Anthropologists, aware of their tendency to carry their own cultural and social biases with them, became concerned with “the danger that our perceptions will be dulled, our intellects constricted, and our sympathies narrowed by the overlearned and overvalued acceptances of our own society” (Geertz 1984:265).  Anti-relativism, Geertz (1984) contended, emerged in response to cultural relativism as the concern that, anthropologists, in their desire to avoid cultural comparisons, would declare every cultural practice as significant and in the process lose important distinctions and render everything insignificant as moral. Anti anti-relativism was presented, not as a return to relativism, but as an encouragement to delve deeper into the complexity of meaning construction and the relationship between morality, culture and knowledge.  Moving away from the polarities of individualism versus collectivism and from the intellectual responsibility or burden of defending cultural diversity against universalism, anthropologists began to build their involvement in human rights on the rights of “people and groups [to] ...a generic right to realize their capacity for culture” (AAA 1999:1), to work within the working definitions of the UDHR as international principles, and to consider “the social practice of rights as an object of ethnographic inquiry” (Goodale 2006a:3; Messer 1993; Cohen 1998).   60 Ronald Cohen (1989) contributed to the exploration of the complexities of seeking universal moral principles within a context of cultural diversity and the emerging internationalism of justice, by encouraging a search for middle ground. Noting, what he labels as the third generation of human rights, the right to development and the addressing of inequities of power between the poor and wealthy nations, he argued for the setting aside of the simplicities of the individualism–collectivism and universal–cultural polarities as the focus and encouraged the engagement of anthropologists in real world experiences, where rights or a sense of what is just and fair emerge.... Without the crutches of relativism, or the unthinking arrogance of ethnocentric Kantianism, differences have to be judged not just as ‘variations’ – interesting scientifically and morally defensible, or indefensible. There is today an obligation to ask as well whether or not such differences enhance or degrade the lives of those who hope to survive and flourish under their sway. (Cohen 1989:1016)  Collectively the impact of the reflections by anthropologists such as Clifford Geertz, Ellen Messer and Ronald Cohen in the 1980s and early 1990s on anthropology’s engagement with human rights began to shift the discipline towards a different framing of human rights and the role of anthropology research. These shifts included the exploration of what Geertz (1984:268) referred to as “culture-free conceptions of what we amount to as basic, sticker price homo and essential, no additives sapiens” and what Cohen (1989) posed as “which among the relativity of moral values judged to be an aspect of our common humanity have true or supportable validity, and which are simply context-determined aspects of specific traditions?” (1016).  Ethnographic practice and the work of anthropologists with human rights lives at the nexus of theory and practice—in essence exploring the social practices of people through their “specific cultural processes and meanings” (Goodale 2006a:3) to further inform human rights theory, to address specific movements of social change, and to participate in the protection of marginalized peoples. In her 1993 article, Messer argues for the contribution that anthropologists can bring to human rights discourse to build bridges between the  61 polarities that have characterized the discourses in other disciplines. A contribution she sees being made through comparative studies of the approaches societies take to human rights formulations, in examining how guidelines for conduct are developed, expressed, and practiced within a society, and how international norms for human rights become translated into cultural practices. More recently, Goodale (2006b) suggests that a key perspective, critical to the work of anthropologists, is their role in retaining the nature of the specific and contextualized understanding of human rights in order to understand the structural power–knowledge environment within which rights are interpreted and practiced. In the past decade, anthropologists working in the area of human rights have begun to explore these new avenues. The work they are doing is broadening the definitions of human rights that contribute to emancipatory cultural politics and emerging cultural norms as well as contributing to empirical understandings of the relationship between culture and rights and the ways in which power is expressed in human rights discourses and social action. In applying ethnographic methods, anthropologists are also generating greater understanding of the relationship between transnational activities and the local expression of human rights and social justice (Goodale 2006).  The broader purpose of social justice and human rights systems is presumed to be the remaking of societies into social spaces in which all humans experience the opportunity to achieve all they are capable of being. Sally Engle Merry (2006) contends that anthropology has a role to play in the production of knowledge and understanding of the variety of ways in which human rights and social justice ideas and practices have spread throughout the world. Citing a number of ethnographies in which the use of human rights ideas and language has influenced expectations of marriage, land ownership, and women’s rights, as well as, at times, being used to entrench existing power structures and relationships, she demonstrates the impact of Western notions of human rights on people around the world.   62 Reflecting a move occurring within anthropology to side-step the universalism–relativism argument, Merry (2006) chooses to focus on “the social processes of human rights implementation and resistance ... to explore what difference they make” (39). In the process, she created an analytical framework to address the questions that arise. Using empirical studies on the appropriation of women’s human rights from transnational sources into local settings, Merry focuses on the role of translators, the people in the middle, and the processes involved in the translation of human rights concepts originating in global legal institutions into the local situations where oppression and human rights violations occur.  Merry’s (2006) description of the translator’s role within the processes of translation resonates with tension. The individuals in these roles are responsible for bringing transnational concepts to the historical–cultural–social situatedness of the local in a way that connects to local issues and, at the same time, bridges to the expectation of their own organization’s political and funding agendas. Concurrently, the translator lifts the local issues out of their situated context to the transnational level in a way that they will be recognized as legitimized human rights issues, while respecting and honouring the needs of the people in the local setting.  In the translation process, Merry (2006) suggests, the translators engage in language processes of vernacularization and indigenization. Vernacularization is the adaptation of meaning to reflect the language of the nation or people group into which the meaning is being transferred. Indigenization is the shift in meaning that occurs as the concept is integrated through cultural norms, values and symbols. At a deeper level, the meaning of the human rights concepts being translated are intended to create change within the subjectivities of individuals and within the social structures through which more just conditions may result.  It is at this level that the idea of the frame, as used in social movement theory, elucidates the contestation for meaning of the human rights concept locally (Merry 2006).  63 The strategy adapted to create the shift for individuals to whom the human rights concepts are being introduced, may use a frame for the human rights ideas that creates a greater tension between ‘what ought to be’ and ‘what is’ in order to create momentum towards a change while risking resistance if the change is too significant. Alternatively, the frame for the human rights ideas may be created to align with current practices to minimize the degree of change while risking a co-opting of the ideas into existing practices.  Merry (2006) explores several ethnographies in which the processes of translation have been studied to highlight the uniqueness that each contributes to an understanding of the complexities that are in play. She suggests that the flow of influence in regard to the understanding and practices of human rights is multidimensional in its’ movement cyclically from transnational to localized, as well as in the spread of local adaptations to other localities around the globe. Importantly however, she notes the inherent ‘Western-ness’ of the human rights framework that is spreading among localities and suggests the translators are  restricted by the discursive fields within which they work. All the translators used human rights discourse, with its reference to international standards and its focus on individual injury and cultural oppression rather than structural violence. ...The larger structure of economic and political power that surrounds human rights activism means that translation is largely a top-down process from the transnational to the local and the powerful to the less powerful...the processes of vernacularization are intimately connected to the interests of states and funders as well as those of local communities... consequently, human rights ideas are not fully indigenized... . They are embedded in a distinctive version of the good society that envisions the state as the provider of social justice and the individual responsible for making claims on the state. (48-49) Summary Anthropology has contributed to ‘holding open’ the human rights discourse in the face of a strong normative perspective that seeks logically coherent frameworks that may make sense in ideally constructed scenarios but do not reflect the situated and “social life of human rights” (Wilson 2006:78). As anthropology engages with the human rights discourses and processes, a richness of the implications, nuances and unintended consequences of  64 global human rights structures, frameworks and processes emerge. These contributions ensure diversity in perspectives and utterances and, I believe, serve to hold open discursive spaces to the centrifugal and emergent meanings that can challenge hegemonic Western and liberal theories of social justice offered by political philosophy. Corporate Social Responsibility, Social Justice, and Human Rights In this final section, I review the discourses on social justice and human rights that are found within the business discourse of corporate social responsibility. The work of corporations and the impact they have on human rights and social justice is increasingly capturing the attention of trans-national organizations (i.e., United Nations), governments, non-profit and non-governmental organizations, and academics. Broadly, the role of corporations and the impact of their operations on local communities and individuals have been subsumed within the notion of corporate social responsibility (CSR).  Centering on the impact of corporations on society, the meanings of social justice constructed within this discourse differs from the meanings of social justice that have arisen from discourses within political science and anthropology. The linguistic turn, discussed previously in this literature review, draws our attention to a way of seeing that recognizes the process of constituting meaning and brings an understanding that our ways of seeing are shaped by our social–cultural–historical–intersubjective experiences. The meanings we construct from differently situated positions, remind us that what we perceive is not fixed or static but is perpetually in the process of being constituted (Deetz 2003). The transcending of nation state boundaries that is occurring in the context of globalization is raising questions regarding the impact of transnational corporations on communities and rights, and it is also contributing to the creation of broader meanings and understandings of corporate responsibility and justice.  As transnational corporations increasingly hold greater economic power than nation states, there is a growing discourse on the effects of involvement by transnational  65 corporations in development activities in the third world or the Global South—a role that has traditionally involved nation states and nongovernment organizations. Debates on the role and responsibility of corporations to attend to and work towards the betterment of society and the lives of citizens are not new and have long existed as an ideological tension in the views of the corporation’s role in broader society. The dominant discourse on the impact of commerce on society and the role of government, continues to be embedded in notions of democracy, the role of the state as the representative of the nation’s citizenry, the benefits of capitalism, the attribution (or not) of virtuous characteristics to corporations, and the opportunities for corruption (Levitt 1958; Friedman 1970; Banerjee 2008). What is changing, however, are the venues that are increasingly becoming accessible to the marginalized voices of people and communities who have been negatively impacted by the operations of business. Subhabrata Banerjee (2008) explores the notion of corporate social responsibility from the perspective of “the relationship between business and society” (52). In providing a historical perspective on the modern American corporation, Banerjee (2008) helps to expose the roots of the discourse tension between a view of the corporation as the creator of private wealth and the perhaps contrary or alternative view of the corporation as holding an obligation to society and the social good. In the 1800s, the American system of incorporation consisted of a formal charter granted by the state to an organization—the charter stipulated both the organization’s mandate and its responsibility to serve the public interest. In situations where the corporation was found to not be acting in the public interest, the charter would be revoked and the ‘right’ to operate as a business would cease to exist (Banerjee 2008). By the end of the 19th century, state oversight of corporations was significantly reduced through successive legal actions and reflected, in Banerjee’s analysis, “shifting power structures in the economy, society and polity” (2008:53) that have had significant  66 import for the current discourse on corporate social responsibility, primarily in the relationships between business and the state.  While legal structures are acknowledged for playing a key role in holding corporations accountable for their operations, the notion of a corporation holding a social right to operate continues to be held out as a societal norm. John Ruggie, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (UN), recently authored a framework for the UN on the role of transnational corporations in respecting human rights. He states that one social norm that has “acquired near-universal recognition by all stakeholders, including business, is the corporate responsibility to respect human rights—or, put simply, to not infringe on the rights of others” (Ruggie 2009:284).  It may be debated how widely this societal norm is held, given the sufficient examples of corporations whose actions demonstrate practices contrary to the broader social good. Often, the questionable actions of corporations have been justified based on the view that their economic role is a sufficient contribution to the social good (Banerjee 2008). For sceptics, examples of corporate harm foster the argument that, in the absence of the influence of external laws and regulations to which they are held accountable, corporations will self-orient towards profit regardless of the impact on social good or social justice. In an article in the Harvard Business Review, Theodore Levitt (1958) articulates the argument that the business of business is profit alone. At a time when a number of corporate leaders were speaking to the socially responsible role of corporations as the new mantra of business, Levitt berated them and challenged them to return quickly to the virtuous activity of making profits. Acknowledging that, for some leaders, there may be a genuine belief in the need of corporations to take society more seriously, Levitt (1958) suggests that a primary motive in adopting a creed of social responsibility was the deflection of criticism and political attacks on profit making.   67 While charity may yield returns on profit margins, Levitt (1958) contended that a wholesale turn toward social responsibility as an equivalent objective to profit could only have a long-term effect that would be the demise of capitalism and blur the line between the responsibilities of government and business. His belief was that  capitalism as we like it can thrive only in an environment of political democracy and personal freedom. These require a pluralistic society – where there is division, not centralization, of power. (44) Business is responsible for business, the state is responsible for the welfare of its citizens, and the citizens are responsible for holding their governments accountable. Milton Friedman’s (1970) stance that “the social responsibility of business is to increase profits” (1) echo’s Levitt’s arguments and extends them further by giving primacy to the corporate leader’s responsibility as solely to the corporate interests.  Perspectives that favour CSR, argue that corporations should think about social and environmental issues as well as profit, should demonstrate ethical behaviour through integrity and transparency and, at a minimum, be philanthropically involved with the communities in which they operate (Banerjee 2008). Arguments for the balancing of moral and ethical actions with the business objective of creating capital and wealth continue to contend with the narrower and purist view that the corporation’s primary purpose is profit creator, while leaving the social wellbeing of society to the state.  For proponents of CSR today, the relationship between business and society is typically represented by terms such as corporate social responsibility, corporate citizenship, and sustainability. These terms are often used rhetorically, as descriptions for corporate activities that are to be perceived as beneficial to society and the environment. In the past decade, these terms have become pervasively present in discourses on CSR and, building from a normative theoretical perspective, are becoming embedded in regulatory and accountability frameworks that hold at best an underlying assumption of the possibility for a positive contribution by corporations to individual, societal and environmental wellbeing  68 (Kuper 2005; Campbell 2007; International Organization for Standards 2009; Ruggie 2009; UN Framework 2011). These discourses recognize breaches of human rights in the actions of corporations and acknowledge the need for external standards and legal frameworks to which corporations can be held accountable.  In the past, the territorial state in which a corporation operated was assumed to be responsible for holding corporations accountable (Kuper 2005; Ruggie 2009). In the current global context, however, where 51 of the 100 largest economic entities in the world are corporations, transnational solutions for corporate accountability are being pursued (Anderson and Cavanagh 2000; Kuper 2005). Corporations are growing both in number and in size, frequently transcending the boundaries of nation states and thus, moving outside the Keynesian-Westphalian frame described by Nancy Fraser (2005). Previously, the relationship between corporations and the states that regulate them presumed common territorial and statutory domains. In a globalized world, nation states are less able to regulate the activity of corporations and this role is falling to transnational structures such as the UN, International Courts, International Agreements and the World Bank (Blowfield 2004; United Nations Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights Working Group 2001/3; Kuper 2005).  Discourse tensions in the relationship between corporate social responsibility and social justice continue to be evident in the plurality of globalization. These tensions arise from ideologically driven expectations, responsibilities, and obligations placed upon corporations by theorists and activists who see the world from different perspectives, from shareholders who demand economic returns, and from the agents of state and transnational structures such as the United Nations and World Bank, who recognize the power held by corporations (Ruggie 2009; Campbell 2007; Kuper 2005). Diverse viewpoints are contributing to alternative theoretical perspectives that counter the economic business ways of knowing.   69 CSR, within the business environment, is strongly influenced by normative, rational and positivistic approaches to knowing because these are deeply embedded in the knowledge practices of business. Banerjee (2008) argues that, as power is given to corporations in the global and transnational systems and structures, the discursive power/knowledge biases of these spaces towards the interest of the corporation will silence the voices and perspectives of others. He identifies this as a theoretical challenge for researchers in regard to corporate social responsibility and corporate citizenship and suggests a critical theory lens would contribute to a counter-narrative and bring alternative theoretical perspectives that could displace the strongly entrenched shareholder-centric discourse of business.  The power/knowledge gradient within the current discursive spaces related to CSR and social justice or human rights is strongly oriented to the goals of the organization rather than to the needs and goals of people in communities. Given the inherent belief in market competition that makes up the ethos of corporations, the power/knowledge systems that are emerging globally are tilted towards the corporation: Competing and swaying process to their needs is what corporations are bred to do.  As the culture and values of Western corporations assume universalism and thus replicate “the social, ethical, economic and political norms embedded in the hegemonic form of globalization” (Blowfield 2004:65), conflicts inevitably arise. The corporate values and norms of profit embedded in CSR are often undeclared, yet are given primacy over local values, norms and priorities. In local settings, where the norms and values are not shared, different expectations may exist between the communities and the corporation. The managers and the investors of the corporation become the definers of social and environmental justice, rather than those who live with the impact of the corporation’s business.   70 As a result, CSR often reinforces the structural elements of the global corporation, leading to a neglect of the local, contextual, social, and historical spaces into which an organization intrudes (Blowfield 2004, 2005). Blowfield (2004) similarly notes the perception by those who work in international development “that international law protects capital and intellectual property rights while the global legal framework for human rights, worker rights and environmental rights is far less certain” (63). He suggests that global CSR standards, whether voluntary or mandatory, perpetuate this granting of rights to corporations. These rights include “the rights of capital and private property, the acceptance of the free flow of capital, the right of business to invest and disinvest at will, and the paramountcy of the market as the determinant of price” (Blowfield 2004:65), the right to make profits, the commoditization of all things including labour, and the “privileging of companies as citizens and moral entities” (Blowfield 2005:520). These rights become problematic and conflictual in countries with “pluralistic economies, social constructs and values” (Blowfield 2004:65). In this business centric environment there is little room for the voice of ‘other’—particularly for those voices and perspectives that cannot be quantified and weighted within a culture that assigns value based on commoditization. The voice of ‘other,’ often the people who are marginalized and poor, remains silenced.  Blowfield (2004) optimistically suggests that these shifting roles and relationships have infinite possibilities once the universalist assumptions of corporate norms and values are examined and set aside. What is critical to people involved in the debates of CSR and the role of corporations in international development is to debate the need for “a business case for our social, moral and economic options” (Blowfield 2004:67). Where there is an entrenched norm which regards the business case as the primary basis for assessing the role of CSR in organization decision-making, the absence of a counter and centrifugal discourse will likely lead to the embedding of global capitalistic principles into issues of justice and development and a failure to find alternatives.   71 In posing the question of how this power alignment can be shifted towards the interests of society, Blowfield (2004) suggests that, focusing on the individual corporation, as the unit of study, is insufficient. Shifts in thinking are required at the macro levels, new discursive spaces need to be opened up and the relationships among the multiple actors (i.e., states, organizations, non-government organizations and communities) examined. Focusing on asking the questions that challenge the current economic and political constructs and engaging in dialogue at the local community level in a way that steps outside the existing systems of dominance, may increase mutual accountability between all the actors involved.  The CSR regime appears to be lacking a robust examination of the underpinning justice theories. CSR, conceptualized as it is on an ethical frame rather than a justice frame may contribute to an inconsistent ability of CSR to deliver on social justice issues. Pogge (2005), building on Rawls’ work to differentiate justice and ethics, offers a distinction between the two. Justice is the analysis of institutions and the moral assessment of the social rules, laws and practices that inform their structures and processes. Ethics is the moral analysis of interactions between individuals and collectives in terms of their conduct and character. The CSR discourses do not appear to address these distinctions.  Expecting corporations to be arbiters of justice and respecters of human rights when their very ways of acting have not been constituted on principles of justice, may prove to be a non sequitur. Additionally the inability of individual decision makers to engage in just decision making in the absence of discourses that allow the constituting of meanings for social justice, will continue to constrain the engagement of organizations in actions beyond the primarily economic paradigm. Banerjee (2008) briefly touches on this when he considers and then rejects the notion of a moral manager within the organizational context. Presumptions that organizations act based on narrow economic interests precludes the agency of managers who can exercise autonomy and judgment. If, as identity theory  72 suggests, managers secure their identity and meaning through their relationships with the organization, then their agency is limited and their decision making will be determined by the dominant organizational and institutional discourses. Summary The development of social justice theory for the practice of corporate social responsibility would perhaps benefit from a similar analysis of the question of the frame, as has been undertaken within the political philosophy discourses on justice. The historical relationship between corporations and the state was assumed within a frame of the territorially defined nation state that holds an accountability relationship to that nation’s citizenry. Within that frame, the relationship between the state and the corporation can be seen as contested through both legal and ideological frameworks.  Corporations have used legal means to gain standing and rights before government and social institutions and have used lobbying to influence legislation that they felt would bind them unnecessarily (Blowfield 2004; Banerjee 2008). The role of government and the role of corporations become entwined and yet the nature of the relationship and the impact on the citizens of a nation is highly variable both within and across nation states. The role of governments in maintaining a regulatory and accountability context for corporations is heavily influenced by the corporation’s interests to be free to act without constraint on their ability to maximize profit. Any attempt by a government to legislate or constrain corporate activity or to mandate their responsibility to society is rhetorically contested as government interference, infringement, and a threat to the economic contribution of the corporation to the wellbeing of society.  When a polarity is created between two ideological positions—‘corporation as solely an economic institution’ and ‘corporation as socially responsible’—differences in perspective are amplified and may be helpful for analysis and/or can perpetuate the rhetoric. When used as normative discourses, they become attempts to bring closure and to ‘fix in place’ an  73 understanding upon which social structures are created and the hegemonic positions are defended. Building alternative interpretive subjectivities between social justice and CSR may also contribute to hold open the discourses and to allow alternative understanding to emerge before social structures are formed to fix in place the hegemonic position of the powerful. In calling for clear distinctions in roles of government, corporations and other civil society entities based upon ‘ideals,’ the risks associated with the use of power, knowledge, and influence by corporations to create environments that favour their autonomy and minimize their accountability are ignored (Kuper 2005).  Corporations are not established upon the principles of justice required of social institutions as articulated by Rawls in his Theory of Justice; they are built upon principles of economics and capitalism. The CSR discourse is heavily influenced by the principles, values and accepted truths of Western business knowledge. Bringing in theories of justice and the voices of ‘others’ would benefit the discourse and contribute to opening up the discursive space fostering alternative ways of world-making and knowing. Literature Review Summary In this chapter I have explored dialogue theory within the broad context of social theory and examined in some detail, the perspectives on social justice that emanate from the disciplines of political science, anthropology, and business. I intentionally began the chapter by placing dialogue theory within the broader frame of social theory, because understanding the ontology of the theory sets the trajectory for my research and holds the frame for my thinking as I seek to understand the data. Dialogue, grounded in relationship and in the possibilities of bringing forth understanding that is transformative, is also disruptive, noisy, and chaotic. It is a difficult place or space to hold if we are drawn to certitude and knowing. However, when we attend to the processes of understanding, dialogue reveals the pre-formed understandings that are being held and, as we are open to the understandings of others, we are offered opportunities to understand in new ways.   74 As I explore in the research the meanings the leaders make of what is just, dialogue theory holds my attention on the processes, the relationships, the situatedness, and the language and helps me to resist the temptation to try to create a constituted and abstract object called social justice. Dialogue theory directs my attention to the constituting processes and encourages an expectation of fluidity and unfinalizability of understanding. Within relational space and in language, the historical, social, cultural, and intersubjective experiences that each person brings into the process can be explored. The literature serves to direct my attention in the research process towards listening for and watching for the places of connection and communion, for the relational responses, for the appearance of and the humanizing of ‘other,’ for openness, for the language currents that open up meanings and close them down, and for the emergence of understandings as horizons are stretched. Building on the notion within dialogue theory that our ways of understanding are historically, culturally, and socially situated and that all utterances hold meaning from previous utterances, I felt it was important to explore this selection of discourses in which social justice is addressed. This includes a historical perspective that grounds human rights and social justice in the Enlightenment and the American and French Declarations from the 1700s. Viewing what has transpired from the 1700s to our current place in history, the shifts in Western understanding of human rights and social justice become clearer. Our utterances today reflect many of the currents in thinking that have issued forth over the centuries as people have contended with the questions of ‘who is human like me’ and thus to whom do these rights extend. Beginning from a place of narrow and limited privileging of white men with property as the holder of these rights, we have seen barrier after barrier breached as rights become normalized for more people. Much has been achieved; however, without a doubt more work remains to be done. The historical review I provide is not comprehensive  75 and it privileges Western perspectives on human rights and social justice, however, it serves to connect our current understandings of social justice to a historical context. The historical review of human rights and social justice and the review of selected disciplines (political science, anthropology, business) serve to heighten my own awareness of some of the possible origins for understandings that the research participants and myself as the researcher-participant bring into the conversations. I was curious, as I began pursuing my research question on the meaning leaders make of what is just, about the meanings that existed in the academic literature and whether or not they would be reflected in the understandings and meanings that we would be exploring within the research. Their inclusion in the literature review serves to make me more aware of these ideas within the research. Each of the disciplines reviewed hold dominant understandings of social justice and human rights, as well as places of contestation. The selected literature from political science alerted me to the theoretical underpinnings of truth concepts that could be embedded into social institutions, thus assuring justice for a society’s citizens. The contesting to articulate a core set of justice principles is now arising from the reality of globalization and the re-ordering of the role of nation states, international institutions, and trans-national globalization. Contestation within the academic traditions of political science is also arising from opportunities to examine the question from alternative social theoretical frames, including the need to dialogically consider alternative conceptions of what is just.  The selected literature from anthropology reminds me that our conceptions of social justice are contextualized by culture. I am aware that I have inherited a dominant Western view of social justice grounded in individualism and a sense of cultural superiority. Anthropology reflects back to me an understanding of the social processes in which meaning and understandings of social justice are situated and created and that alternative ways of understanding social justice are present when I listen for them. The work and  76 thinking within both the fields of political science and anthropology alert me to meanings that exist beyond the horizon of my own understandings and encourage me to hold open to the possibilities that they bring. Both of these bodies of literature provide a repertoire of language and meanings for me to listen for in the research conversations and utterances. Initially, when I began to engage with the question of the meaning leaders make of what is socially just, my question was conceptualized within the context of organizations. At the time, the field of corporate social responsibility was being used to promote and engage organizations in understanding the impact of their operations on communities and the environment. As I spent time in the literature attempting to understand the meaning of social justice within the CSR discourse, it became more evident to me that the dominant language of business remained one of profit, while the language of social responsibility remained marginalized. This awareness generates a curiosity for me about the understandings and meanings that the leaders who participated in the research hold, as they navigate the terrain of organizations and business, and the language they use to attend to social justice. Finally this review of the literature informs my research approach. My focus in the research is on the nature of the relationships, the contesting of meanings and the emergence of understandings, the historical-social-cultural contexts in which meaning has and is emerging, and on the nature of dialogic moments that shift understandings and fuse horizons. The research practices and processes that I draw on, therefore, must have the ability to elicit the processes of understanding within relationship and in language. In the next chapter I overview the practices of participatory action research, narrative, reflexivity, utterances, and sensemaking which I have chosen for the design of the research, as well as describe the overall design for the research.   77 Chapter Three Research Approach  In this chapter, I lay out the practices and processes used to explore the research question of the meanings leaders’ make of what is just. To begin, I provide a preamble that introduces Christine Bonney, my co-researcher. This is followed by a review of the research practices that informed the research process. In conducting this research, a grouping of methodologies have been incorporated, including participatory action research, narrative, reflexivity, utterances, and sensemaking. A brief literature review of each of these is provided. In the remaining sections of this chapter, I describe the research processes and the broad structure we established to guide the research. Examples from the research are provided to create for the reader a sense of the experience as it emerged for the participants and for us as the co-researcher-participants. As I write this section of the dissertation my invitation to you, the reader, into this journey of exploration into meanings for social justice remains extended. The sense of linearity that a written document creates can in many ways cause the process of the research to seem disconnected or compartmentalized from the research outcomes. From the conception of my research, there was a planned iterative nature to the process that allowed a weaving of the threads of conversation into a unique tapestry of understanding leadership and social justice. The conversations that comprise the research stand in a moment of time as the participants and the researchers held open a space to explore, to listen, and to be transformed by the meanings of social justice that caught our attention. Sheila McNamee (2000), as cited by Ann Cunliffe (2002) in her article on social poetics, makes a statement that sets a context for our approach: Research as conversation is sensitive to reflexive critique and multiplicity of voices. If language is our starting point, the entire research process looks different. There is nothing to discover or explain but rather linguistic turns to be jointly performed. (Cunliffe 2002:10)  78 Resting on the principles of dialogue, these conversations took place over the course of six months. Through the building of trusting relationships, the safe exploration of language, the telling of deeply personal stories, the asking of questions that formed for the asker in the moment of listening, the reflexivity, and the revisiting of the research questions each step was unknown to us until we were in the moment of creating it. As the reader of this dissertation, you have the opportunity to engage with the conversations as they appear in this text. I invite you to reflexively attend to what surprises you, what strikes you, and what is challenging you as the words are shared.  Co-Researcher  The research process was a collaborative effort with my colleague and fellow student Christine Bonney. We began our doctorate studies with a plan to ‘do it together.’ At the beginning of the process we did not know how the ‘doing it together’ would unfold, and consistent with our worldview, it unfolded as we both experienced the reality of a doctorate program that is both interdisciplinary and individualized. We each tailored our courses and comprehensive papers based on our inquiry question and collaborated jointly on the creation of our research proposals, ethics approvals, and in conducting the research. Although our research questions are distinct, they are complementary in their focus on leaders, leadership and social justice. Our shared work experiences have led us into a way of working together that is, at its essence, collaborative and relational, and the theoretical perspectives we have each chosen for our research led us both towards a research methodology that aligns with our way of working. Christine’s question is oriented toward ‘what leaders tell themselves about themselves as they act in just ways?’ while my question is oriented toward ‘the meaning that leaders create with ‘others’ when acting and deciding in a just way.’ Both questions lend themselves towards dialogic and relational ways of understanding and being.  79 We collaboratively developed our research proposals, applied for our ethics approval, created the supportive structures for the research, invited participants, and emerged the questions that held the space for conversations. We are sharing the research data produced from the process; however, we are each exploring the data from the perspective of our research questions and independently writing up our findings and dissertations. Research Practices As highlighted earlier in this paper, my ontology or the way in which I have determined to view our social world, is one that is based in relationship and in language. I am taking the position that we are understanders and creators of our social world through our relationships with ‘others’ and through language. This ontology turns my attention toward seeing the world or, in this context the meaning that leaders make of what is just, as a processual, co-constituting, emergent process that takes place in relationships with those who are ‘other’—and, indeed, at times we are ‘other’ to ourselves as we make meaning for our own contextualized and situated experiences in the world. In developing an approach to the research through which we could explore both of our research questions, it was imperative that the process and methodology were aligned with this ontology. Steven Krauss (2005) highlights that the philosophical stance a researcher takes is crucial to understanding the methodologies that are applied. He states, “epistemology is intimately related to ontology and methodology: as ontology involves the philosophy of reality, epistemology addresses how we come to know that reality while methodology identifies the particular practices used to attain knowledge of it.” (758-759) This research is grounded in the subjective and inter-subjective experiences of the participants, in the processual creations of meaning for social justice, as well as in my own reflexive experiences as a researcher-participant. It was important to foster within the research the opportunity for spontaneous encounters of meaning making. Research  80 practices that supported this approach (participatory action research, narrative, reflexivity, utterances, and sensemaking) have been drawn on to explore, dialogically, the experiential-historical-cultural-social contexts the participants bring to the processual creation of meaning that leads to acting justly in relationship with ‘other.’ Questions were used to hold open discourse space amongst the participants and with the researchers for the processual emergence of meanings for social justice and the differences that may be present. Sense-making, reflexivity, story-telling, and narrative form the data from which the (potentially contested) knowing and meanings for social justice emerged—not as fixed meanings but in the fluid and temporal moments of the research experience to elicit embodied and contextualized understanding. In this section, an overview of these core research practices that I drew on in the research is provided. Participatory Action Research Participatory research holds a subjective and intersubjective view of reality and is grounded in a tradition of research that holds a predisposition to action, a levelling of power amongst the researchers and participants, a sharing of ownership for the work, and the use of dialogue (Brown and Tandon 1983; Cornwall and Jewkes 1995; Strand 2000; Corburn 2002; Minkler and Wallerstein 2003; Stoecker 2003; Pain 2004; Minkler 2010). While participatory action research approaches can be differentiated broadly based on their alignment with either the conservative traditions of Kurt Lewin’s work in the 1940s or the radical and emancipatory work of Paulo Freire, there is evidence of an interweaving of the traditions based on the principles of collaboration between researchers and participants and the valuing of multiple sources of knowledge (Strand 2000; Stoecker 2003; Minkler and Wallerstein 2003; Wallerstein and Duran 2003; Pain 2004; Minkler 2010).  The notion of collaboration between researchers and participants presents a radical departure from the prevalent Western stances on knowledge discovery. Traditional Western research assumes that the world is objectively knowable, that the generation of knowledge and the discovery of new truths is the result of positivism, and  81 empirical studies supported by instrument construction and replicability are the ‘best’ ways to create knowledge (Burrell and Morgan 1982; Hall 1992; Cornwall and Jewkes 1995; Strand 2000; Wallerstein and Duran 2003). Participatory action research is viewed as an alternative to the well-embedded (in Western thinking) positivist approach to research that values the objectivity and expertise of the researcher in all stages of the research process (Schrijvers 1995; Strand, Marullo, Cutforth and Donohue 2003; Wallerstein and Duran 2003).  Participatory action research’s challenge to traditional Western approaches has been supported ontologically and epistemologically by feminist theory, interpretive theory, critical theory, conflict theory, and social construction (Schrijvers 1995; Wallerstein and Duran 2003; Pain 2004). Collaboration, as a core principle of participatory action research, is based on a belief that all participants involved in the research process have a voice, have information to contribute and have a role in constructing social reality. Collaboration occurs when the participants and the researcher jointly create the research process (Freire 1993; Cornwall and Jewkes 1995; Mosse 2001; Minkler and Wallerstein 2003; Stoecker 2003; Strand et al. 2003; Wallerstein and Duran 2003; Wright and Nelson 2005).  The second principle of participatory action research is a valuing of multiple sources of knowledge. If one comes from the perspective that there exists considerable agreement on what constitutes knowledge or that knowledge is objectively knowable then developing empirical surveys or interview processes to gather from a community their knowledge on an issue or problem would seem straightforward. Hall (1992) notes that the “question of whose knowledge counts has always been with us” (16) and the implication that some knowledge may carry a higher value than others is clear. The participatory action research principle of valuing multiple sources of knowledge reflects the underlying belief that knowledge is socially constructed and all ways of knowing hold value.  Within the emancipatory tradition of participatory action research, knowledge production is, therefore, inherently dialogic. The potential for people to develop their own consciousness,  82 create social change, and produce knowledge is seen as a transforming process rather than a commodity (Cornwall and Jewkes 1995; Strand 2000; Wallerstein and Duran 2003; Stoecker 2003; Cunliffe 2004; Nelson and Wright 2005; Freire 2011). Knowledge is constructed relationally throughout the production process, and knowledge holds transformative potential (Hall 1992). The theoretical roots to knowledge as expressed within the participatory action research tradition includes the interpretive view that meaning emerges through action, and the critical view that knowledge is not simply to describe the world but to change it (Strand 2000; Freire 2011).  As a result of this view of knowledge, Hall (1992) argues that the method of participatory research is creative and should “flow from those involved and their context” (20). Participatory action research is epistemologically consistent with the ontology of dialogue theory. The leaders who will be engaging with me in this research will bring with them knowledge and experiences that continue to shape their understanding of social justice. In this research, the focus is on the processual creation of meaning that emerges in relationship over time. The transformation that may occur for each leader and their own understanding of social justice becomes captured through narrative and reflexivity throughout the research experience. Narrative Narrative is, in essence, the use of language to link events and to create a causal plot that is meaningful (Sparrowe 2005). Tsoukas and Hatch (2001) define narrative as the spoken or written statements about events and their relationship to one another. Within this definition narrating as a verb entails the act of narrating and the act of listening, which in combination is an interpretive act (Tsoukas and Hatch 2001). Narrative is also viewed as a protocol or approach that works to link social action with antecedents through which plausible causes for the action can be explained within a social context (Ruggie 1998). Ochs and Capps (1996) identify narrative as the means by which individuals make sense of experiences and as a process of social interaction with both narrator and listener participating in the emergent  83 narrative. Narrative is an unfolding of a “reflective awareness of being in the world” (Ochs and Capps 1996:21) that connects oneself with ‘others’ and society. Ezzy (1998) views narrative as the process by which an individual integrates the events of their lived experience to create a sense of self through the creation of the story they tell about their life.  Narrative provides rich ground through which the explanations that individuals create to make meaning over time can be made explicit. Narration is linked to individual identity yet it is also a fundamental social and socializing activity. Based on the meaning that is made individually and collectively of social justice, actions may result that contribute to the ongoing story that unfolds. Understanding the sources and perspective of meaning through narrative, illuminates the actions of leaders who have engaged in socially just decision making.  Reflexivity Including reflexivity in the research process creates the opportunity to explore more deeply the narratives that each of the participants bring, through an examination of the underlying assumptions, values and constituting of reality that are inherent in the narratives. Where an interview approach may elicit from the research participants what Cunliffe (2004) refers to as a reflex or in-the-moment understanding of a situation or experience, reflexivity invites the participant into an examination of the very nature of the reality they have been part of creating. In this research my goal is to move beyond the objectivizing of an experience with ‘other’ and the socially just actions that result, and into a reflexive examination of the subjective and responsive experience that engaged the tacit and the ethical ways of being and knowing for each research participant. In this process, the participants and the researchers interacted in conversation and through on line discussion forums and journals. The conversations, discussion forums and journals comprise the narrative data, which I use to explore interactively and reflexively with the research participants. The research process becomes the container for the participants and the researcher-participant to mutually explore meanings of social justice.  84 Utterances As discussed in the previous chapter, the work of Mikhail Bakhtin (1990) focuses our attention on language as the means by which we constitute our social reality and, in proposing that our language meanings are fluid and unfinalizable, he suggests that our social realities are as well. Bakhtin’s contribution to dialogue theory has already been covered, however, in this section on methodology it is his concept of “utterances” that I want to highlight. The contextualizing of the speech act as an utterance connected to other utterances across space and time serves to illuminate a discipline and characteristic of Bakhtin described by Stewart et al. (2004) as holism: holism looks for the whole and the totality, rather than the separateness and categorization that characterizes the Enlightenment period. For Bakhtin (1990), “the authentic environment of an utterance, the environment in which it lives and takes shape, is dialogized heteroglossia, anonymous and social as language, but simultaneously concrete, filled with specific content and accented as an individual utterance” (272).  In the moment of dialogic speaking, Bakhtin draws our attention away from the monologic communication of historical representation of a concept, to the creative expression of speaking in anticipation of ‘others’ understanding and one’s responsiveness to what is being conceived (Bakhtin 1986; Baxter 2004). The relational responsiveness captured by Bakhtin is not solely a cognitive understanding; it is an embodiment of understanding that is different for each participant in the dialogue and, as such, expands the multivocality of meaning rather than constraining it. What is present within an event is the polyphony of voices within which multiple perspectives exist in the multiple worlds of each person’s consciousness. Taking Bakhtin’s perspective of utterances can lead us towards a focus on the constituting processes of the meanings for human rights and social justice and a hearing of the utterances that are present and being drawn upon.   85 Sensemaking Weick (1995) provides one of the simplest definitions of sensemaking—that it is about the making of sense. However, within the simplicity of this definition there lies significant depth and complexity. Sensemaking is described alternatively as a perspective, a frame of mind, a social process, a set of heuristics, a thinking process to explain surprises (Weick 1995), a process of organizing (Weick and Sutcliffe 2005), a paradigm in the interpretive quadrant of Burrell and Morgan’s sociology of organizations framework (Boyce 1996), and a process by which people create their own reality (Nijhof and Jeurissen 2006). Although often used interchangeably with interpretation or described as an interpretive process through which people gain understanding and share these understanding with ‘others,’ Weick (1995) goes to some length to differentiate sensemaking from interpretation. He states that interpretation is drawn from an understanding or knowledge of something that is there—for example a problem. Sensemaking, in contrast, recognizes that the problem does not present itself as a given. Therefore, with sensemaking there is more interest in the construction processes based on the cues that a person is attending to and subsequently gaining an awareness that ‘something is different’ and that there is a need to make sense of something that does not at first make sense. Sensemaking is an ongoing process and most often includes a retrospective awareness that something does not fit or that a pattern has been disrupted, consideration of plausible explanations, a sharing of what has been noticed with ‘others’ and a shift in identity and reputation (Weick 1995). Nijhof and Jeurissen (2006) describe sensemaking as a process by which people create their own reality as attention is paid to cues, behaviours, symbols and events that are taking place around them. They identify sensemaking as a social activity that invites an examination of how people see things, rather than examining the structures and systems that may be in place. Sensemaking is closely linked to social constructivist approaches to  86 organizations as it favours a “reflective, narrative analysis of group process” (Nijhof and Jeurissen 2006:317).  Weick (1995) identifies seven properties of sensemaking. First, sensemaking is grounded in identity construction and is best captured by the question posed by Wallas (1926), “how can I know what I think until I see what I say?” (Weick 1995:12). The construction of identity becomes a social act: in the process of seeing what ‘I’ speak with ‘others’ the identity of the individual and ‘others’ involved emerges and develops. Secondly, sensemaking is retrospective and therefore influenced by memory and the notion that “people can know what they are doing only after they have done it” (24). Thirdly, sensemaking is enactive of sensible environments. As one acts, so they contribute to the environment of which they are a part. The actor is neither independent of the environment nor under the control of the environment, there is an interaction between the two. Fourth, sensemaking is social: it is through conversation with ‘others’ that meanings are created and sustained. Fifth, sensemaking is ongoing—it is not a process that starts and ends: one is always in the middle of a flow of events about which assumptions are generated. Flow can, however, be interrupted by events that are unexpected and that cause the prevalent assumptions to be examined more carefully. Sixth, sensemaking is focused on cues, “simple, familiar structures that are seeds from which people develop a larger sense of what may be occurring” (50). Small cues become the equivalent of full sets of data as we select what cues to pay attention to as the basis for extracting meaning and determining action. The seventh property of sensemaking is that it is driven by plausibility rather than accuracy. In sensemaking there is not an emphasis on the `right’ decision or meaning; rather, there is an emphasis on what seems plausible to explain the events experienced.  Sensemaking is happening at all times and it becomes explicit in situations where what is occurring is different from what is expected. People have a need to create order and organize out of what they are experiencing (Boyce 1996). Examining sensemaking provides  87 an opportunity to see how people make sense of ambiguity, search for meaning, and choose courses of action (Weick and Sutcliffe, 2005). Sensemaking can help to understand the role and function of values and norms as choices for action based on what is considered to be of value to an individual and within an organization (Nijhof and Jeurissen 2006). Nijhof and Jeurissen suggest that sensemaking can highlight the assumptions that underlie socially responsible or irresponsible behaviours.  Sensemaking examines the conditions and processes by which people become aware of the events they are experiencing out of which stories, meaning, narrative, and social constructions emerge. In a dynamic interplay of retrospection and present action, sensemaking is an attempt to freeze frame the pre-decisional process from which choice and action emerge. Understanding or illuminating these moments of sensemaking can surface assumptions about the broader social system and the beliefs and actions that dominate around leadership and social justice.  Research Process Parker (2004) suggests that in action research one “always reinvents method in the process of research… the ‘method’ itself is likely to be something that will emerge in the course of the research” (125). In adapting this notion to her work, Simon (2012) suggests “’method’ may become apparent [only] after the activity of research has taken place and while describing the research process” (116). Consistent with this perspective, our research process became emergent within the frame created by our research question, our ontology and the methodologies we chose. However, there is more to what the researcher does beyond showing up with questions to ask. There is also the intention that I, the researcher, bring of my own identity and presence within the research process to my relationship with each of the participants and with my co-researcher Christine. The posture that I, as a human being engaged in dialogic and language grounded research, choose, creates an ethos for the process in which each person in turn is free to choose how to respond and create their own  88 way of being within the research setting. Buber (2004) speaks of the first movement of dialogue as an interior turning towards the ‘other.’ I-as-the-researcher must, therefore, be attentive towards my own interior turning toward opening, knowing that what I hold to be truth will be challenged and stretched. It is the creating of this ethos that I wish to foreground as it contextualizes the conversations I will be sharing and it will also invite you, as the reader, to enter into the conversation with us.  Both Christine and I have a background in leadership coaching and in the practice of facilitation. Within these practices we have learned the importance of creating spaces for relationship to be fostered and for people to feel invited to engage with one another around the topic at hand. We have also learned how important it is for the people leading or sponsoring the conversation to be open, vulnerable and authentic within the process. Our observations have been that, as much as leader-sponsors are prepared to share and be present, the participants will respond in a similar way. Given the personal nature of the research questions that we wished to explore with the participants, we believed it to be necessary to bring these principles and practices into the research process through our roles as researchers-sponsors of the process. The principles we brought into the research process to create an ethos of open, vulnerable and authentic sharing are reflected in how we built the process of invitation, applied the processes of facilitating, and incorporated the processes of coaching.  Invitation Invitation or the ‘act of inviting’ can be a formal, impersonal and, in some settings, an imperial process that may leave the person receiving the invitation little choice about attending. Invitation from a person or a representative of an institution, who carries a weight of power or authority, can bring with it dominant social norms that may result in a person being physically present yet at the same time, limit the level of their engagement or the authenticity of their contributions. Peter Block (2009) describes invitation as a conversation that invites “accountable and hospitable community” (113). We have found that the process of invitation  89 can create a shift in how people think about what they are being invited into, can influence the authenticity with which they participate and create the opportunity for deeper relationship with one another. It was important in our research process, based as it is in dialogue and participatory research principles, to think carefully about our invitation processes. In the end, Christine and I approached approximately 30 individuals with an invitation to participate in our research. We had been gathering names of people who we thought would bring a range of experiences to the topic of leadership and social justice over the previous year(s) and many of the individuals we were able to invite directly. We also used third party invitations as we discussed our research with friends and colleagues who were willing to share our invitation with people in their networks who met our criteria. Specifically we were seeking individuals who are seen as leaders, either in formal or informal roles, and who are recognized for bringing to their work and into their lives intentionality for being socially just in their actions and decisions. Additionally they would be willing to participate in critical reflection throughout the research process, have the time to commit to the process and be over the age of eighteen.  Seven individuals agreed to participate and to make a commitment of their time and of themselves to our process. We had a balance of four women and three men, an age range that extended from late twenties to mid-sixties, a mix of not-for-profit, healthcare, corporate and academic work experiences, and all from North America. Our one disappointment was our inability to bring into the group greater cultural diversity; however, in the end we had a committed group of participants, a broad range of perspectives and experiences and all of them stayed with the process through to the end.  Preferably, the invitation would have been offered either face-to-face or by phone. However, to meet the requirements of the Behavioural Research Ethics Board (BREB) of UBCO, we were encouraged to communicate in writing first, in order to provide consistency and clarity of communication and to leave the invitee free to respond uncoerced by the  90 researchers. In keeping with these parameters, we endeavoured to keep the tone of the formal letters warm and personable as we highlighted the research topic, explained the reasons we were approaching them, stated the research questions, identified ourselves as the researchers, explained the time commitment (duration and intensity), the nature of their involvement, the benefits of participating and affirmed their freedom to exit from the process at any time (Appendix 1). We felt however, that the formality of the letters put at risk the ethos we wanted to create from outset of the process, and chose to append the formal letters of invitation with personal emails. For example: Hello Gary, Well we are finally at the place of 'invitation to participate' in our research! As you know, Christine and I have been engaged over the past three years in pursuing our PhDs and are now at the research phase of the process. We are conducting the research together with a focus on the relationship between the practices of leaders and socially just outcomes. We are writing you at this time to ask you to consider being a participant in our research. We would like to understand more about why it is critical to you to lead and to act in socially just ways. By participating in this research you will both contribute to and connect with others who have similar interests for the purpose of sharing stories, wisdom, insight and learning. Attached is a formal letter of introduction to the research and in it you will find specific details regarding the research questions, the research design and the nature of the commitment we are asking of you. Gary we know that you are a very busy person and that there are many demands on your time and appreciate your consideration of this invitation. We would be delighted to have you participate. Additionally you may also see this as an opportunity to contribute to the development of a leader within your network and we would be interested in exploring that with you - in fact we will be sending you a request in another day or two to ask (again) for you to connect us with some specific people in your network. Please let us know if you are interested in participating and we can set up a phone call to explore in more detail and to answer any questions you may have. In this case the response from Gary was pretty immediate: Hi Penny, I am delighted to be included, have read the letter and am pleased to make the commitment you are asking for. I'm really interested in your quest and look forward to this new piece of learning about something really important. All the best, Gary  91  Aspects of the invitation process carried into the initial phone call that was held with each participant. We are aware that when interacting by phone, our voices are our tools and we use them to convey warmth, humour, and invitation. We model the use of first names, leave space for each other and the person we are inviting to speak and to ask questions, and we speak not just to the third person, but to each other. In this first call, Christine and I both thanked them for their interest, explained the consent and confidentiality forms (the confidentiality form was created to provide accountability among the participants for maintaining confidentiality on what was shared in the group sessions). We also spent some time explaining, in more detail, the participatory nature of the research, the level of commitment (both in time and personal sharing) asked of them, and responded to any questions they might have had.  This intentional approach to invitation was also used to foster the participant’s sense of contribution to the norms of how we would come together in our one-on-two calls and our group calls. An example of how we did this is made visible in the introduction to the first teleconference we hosted. First, we helped prepare the participants in advance for the conversation by sharing an outline for the call, in which we again spoke to the emergent nature of the research and the hope for interaction and relationship among the participants:  Next week we will be hosting our first group conversation as part of the research process. As we have mentioned in our individual conversations with you, we created a process for our research that would allow us to adapt to what emerges as we interact with one another. Your postings on the web site, our one-on-one (or two) conversations, and the group teleconferences are all important processes for us to hear from you and interact with you around the ideas that emerge. We are anticipating a great conversation. (Email from Penny and Christine to the participants) By re-articulating in the outline for the call, that we (the researchers) were fulfilling the role of hosts for the conversation, that we are creating a process for the research in response to what emerged in the conversations, and that the conversation will be ‘great’ because of what they bring, we were deepening the authenticity of the invitation and building a context for  92 deeper relationship. On the first teleconference call, we took a further step to demonstrate and to practice the shared nature of the work: at the beginning of the call we invited the participants to speak out their ideas about how they would like to see this group be together. What emerged were statements of exploration, openness and trust: I believe…it is a safe environment for us to share our real feelings about the topics we are talking about. So I am excited to hear what people really think about things—and to learn from everyone’s experience. So I am looking forward to people being open and honest about their thoughts and feeling comfortable with talking about them with everyone. (Teleconference #1, Kathy) It is more of a question that I have, than it is around principles or ground rules and that is around confidentiality about this work. I was thinking the other day when I read an article—and I went to share that article and my experience reading from it. I wondered are we allowed to—or is it encouraged that we share our learning? Not what people have related or our deep conversations and meaning—but when we have an ‘ah ha’ with people that we are sort of—I know in my case coaching and leading. What is the groups’ feeling? Like are you sharing with your partner—say hey “I am involved in this amazing leadership opportunity?” (Teleconference #1, Dorrie) I don’t know why we wouldn’t share all the brilliance that we could [laughs]. I don’t think there would be a confidentiality issue. I have been telling people about it and talking about it. And I think I am learning part of my responsibility is to pass on any goodness, any tidbits, any helpful advice. I mean … anything that will build capacity and move people forward. (Teleconference #1 Kerri) From my perspective anything that I say, it is my personal opinion. Because I work for a very large American corporation…As long as anyone wasn’t representing it as a truth of the […] company, I would feel okay and good about you sharing my opinions [laughs]. (Teleconference #1 Kathy) Jessica here, I think that is a great point. I obviously represent a university and all my experiences I feel are very personal and I appreciate the opportunity to share my journey—I think much of this study is trying to get at some insights that are shared but also a part of our own process and throughout that process those … and thoughts might change—so I think insider thoughts are not necessarily—I will, and probably will continue to share my own thoughts but they will probably change as a result of what we discuss and so just understanding that and also understanding who we represent from an organizational standpoint is different from where we are at individually.(Teleconference #1 Jessica) Invitation sets the ambience for the whole process. We wanted each person to feel ownership of the process and to feel completely safe in the process, as we would be asking each of them to open up and share with us and the others, some very personal experiences. Indeed, in the process of being engaged with us and with the research, levels of awareness  93 from their lived experiences were deepened for most of the participants, in a way that they had not fully explored or reflected on before. All of the participants finished out the full process, and the attention we paid to the processes of invitation set the context for that outcome, as well as the rich stories and meanings that emerged. Facilitation In our facilitation work, we incorporate four explicit and intentional practices. First, we pay close attention to our purpose and intent, and use these to ‘hold the container‘ for the conversations. We are intentional about building our intent into all of our processes. For example, an important part of our approach to facilitation is the creation of a welcoming space. We think about how we ‘bring people into the room’ by giving them an opportunity to share something of themselves. Often this requires giving time and space for getting to know the people with whom they will be interacting.  In this research, we worked within a virtual room because of the geographical distance between us. As it was important to create multiple opportunities for interaction between the participants and ourselves as research-participants, we created a website with a discussion board for asynchronous interactions. We encouraged people to use video-cameras on the calls in order to have the opportunity to see the people we were speaking with and listening to. Our first request of the group was that they register on the website, post a picture of themselves and respond, in a posting, to the following question: Each of us comes into this conversation with experience, passion and stories to tell about leadership and social justice. Take a moment and introduce yourself to each other sharing a bit about what you have been up to and what prompted you to accept our invitation to participate in this research (Discussion prompt on the discussion board by Penny and Christine). Within this question we reiterated our research intent (that we were interested in their experiences with leadership and social justice), and laid the groundwork for two of our tenets or beliefs, making them explicit (again) to the participants. The first principle is that each participant brings experiences that are valuable to all of us; and secondly, we began to lay the  94 expectation that we are engaging in storytelling as a part of the research process. In the invitation to the first teleconference call, this welcoming into full participation was again intentionally conveyed: Next week we will be hosting our first group conversation as part of the research process. As we have mentioned in our individual conversations with you, we created a process for our research that would allow us to adapt to what emerges as we interact with one another. Your postings on the web site, our one-on-one (or two) conversations, and the group teleconferences are all important processes for us to hear from you and interact with you around the ideas that emerge. We are anticipating a great conversation. To prepare the ground for the first teleconference we are sending you two articles. The first is a very short article from the Globe and Mail on the Aga Khan and the idea of plurality—and is a very easy read. The second is an article that we have found to be very thought provoking about the everyday violence that exists in societies. This article, while it touches on theoretical perspectives, also contains some interesting concepts and case studies. Both articles will help set the container for our conversation next week. We will post these articles on the web site as well. The outline of the call will be as follows… Introductions and check-in question (What do you hope to get from your involvement in this [research] process?) (20 min) (facilitated by Christine) Principles or Commitments for the group conversation (10 minutes) (Facilitated by Christine) Conversation on the articles—grounded by a question that will hold the space (45 min) (Facilitated by Penny and Christine) Wrap up—what practices did you see yourself and others use that helped foster dialogue? (15 min) (Facilitated by Penny) Again, in opening the call with a space for each person to give voice to their hopes for their involvement in the research, we created an opportunity to focus everyone’s attention on the overall purpose—exploring leadership and social justice—and to begin the process of connecting with one another and to hear each person’s reasons for participating. A second practice that we incorporated into our facilitation is support to each of the participants to come into the conversations prepared for what we are inviting them to speak with us about. This support was provided through sharing with them in advance of our call a set of opening questions, a request for a story from their lived experience, and occasionally, a  95 prompt from some provocative article or quote. For the initial and final calls with each of the participants, Christine and I worked together to create the focus and the introduction for the call, and co-lead the facilitation of the conversations. Similarly, this was the approach for the first group teleconference call. For these co-led calls, we would prepare by sharing our ideas with each other to ensure that the conversation would inform both of our research questions. Then together we crafted the email that would go out in advance of the call. For the six one-on-two calls that, in the end, comprised the middle of the research process, we alternated the roles of lead and listener. For the teleconferences, I took the lead on the second teleconference and Christine took the lead on the third. The full set of questions developed for each call can be found in Appendix 2. Regardless of who was the lead, the facilitation approach was similar and we soon created a flow between our roles on each call, developing a rhythm that replayed across all the calls with the participants. The lead researcher would create the focus for the call and invite input and refinement from the other researcher. An introduction to the coming call would be sent to the participant a few days in advance, giving time to think and reflect. Both of us would be on the call; however, the lead researcher would facilitate, inviting comment from the other researcher when needed, and the non-lead researcher would be left free to listen, observe, and reflect on the conversation.  The following two examples demonstrate the way in which the context and prompts provided to the participants for the coming calls would be shaped. In each one we were intentional about our respective roles, the focus of the call, and the stories or quotes we use to engage the participants in a memory from their own lived experience.  Call #3—Exploring Experiences of Acting Justly (Penny as lead) We have our third call coming up, and on this call I will be taking the lead and Christine will be listening in. To begin our call we will talk a little bit about your journal post(s) and then we will move into the next conversation. This time we will be talking about your own experience(s) in acting justly. To help you prepare for the call, we have a few questions for you to be thinking about. Again there is no need to journal  96 in advance of the call, as we will be posting a follow-up question in your journal as a prompt for you. Here is the question:  In the doing of our work and also in the doing of life, there are times when we find ourselves in situations and events where the outcome has significant impact for ourselves and for ‘others.’ Often the ‘way to go’ is not clear or straightforward. Tell me a story of a time in your life where what you did and the decision(s) or influence that you made impacted significantly or made a difference in the lives of others. What guided you in the experience? How do/ did you feel about the outcome for yourself and for the others who were involved? Similarly, is there a situation that you were a part of and in which you held some level of authority or influence and you find yourself revisiting it and questioning if there was something different that you could have done for a more just outcome? Call #4—The basic practical-moral problem in life (Christine as lead)	  I'm looking forward to our call tomorrow. In studying leadership over the past few years, I have come to see it as a process of thinking about ourselves, our actions and reflecting on the situations that we find ourselves in. It seems to me to be about learning to deal with challenges, thinking critically, trying to see situations in new ways, dealing with uncertainty and ambiguity and learning from experiences and mistakes. Quite different, I think, from the more classical perspectives on leadership. The following quote seems to capture quite eloquently the centre of this kind of thinking… "The basic practical-moral problem in life is not what to do, but instead what kind of person to be" (Shotter and Cunliffe 2002:20). In prep for our session could you reflect on this statement? Have a wonderful weekend… Once the ‘container‘ for each conversation was set and shared with the participant(s), we would lean on the use of a third practice I want to highlight—the use of questions to open up space to more deeply explore what is being spoken. Vogt, Brown, and Isaacs (2003) suggest that the usefulness of the knowledge we acquire and the effectiveness of the actions we take depend on the quality of the questions we ask. Questions open the door to dialogue and discovery. They are an invitation to creativity and breakthrough thinking. (1) As facilitators, our challenge is to pay attention to how we use questions to hold space open for deeper exploration, rather than as devices to shut down conversations. Vogt et al. (2003) draw our attention to the risk that our own assumptions are reflected in the questions we ask: we can ask questions in a manner that lead to the answers we want to  97 hear. For myself, as I prepared in advance of the calls, I would find my place of curiosity around how each person might respond to the opening topic for the conversation and I would be intentional around letting them ‘take the lead’ in the subsequent conversation. My following questions would be formulated in the moment in order to be ‘in response’ to the thoughts they chose to share.  The following examples help to illuminate how these conversations could unfold in a way that was unique to the two people in conversation and the relationship that had developed with us as the researchers, thus far in the process. These examples are drawn from the opening portions of the fifth one-on-two call. The first example is from the conversation with Jessica and the second example is from the conversation with Jeff. The focus for the fifth call with each participant was shaped by the following email that was sent a few days in advance (the quotes that are referenced can be found in Appendix 2): Continuing on from our conversation about ‘other,’ I invite you to read through the following excerpts/ quotes in preparation for our call on Monday. The first two quotes are by Martin Buber whose writings on dialogue suggest a more profound experience between people than what is reflected in the common applications we see of this term today. The second excerpt is by Paulo Freire whose writing on oppression is both evocative and challenging.  I look forward to hearing the thoughts that these words stir in you… Jessica, in her opening response to these quotes, incorporated her reflections from the most recent teleconference call with the participants. She drew upon her generation’s practices of communication, some recent current events, and recalled, with some nostalgia the relative simplicity of her time in Guatemala. JESSICA: I did check back and listened in on the dialogue [teleconference call #3] and just started to really think a little bit more deliberately about… and I read the quote almost at the same time for today’s discussion and just the concept of what dialogue means. What struck me as interesting is how different the … dialogue and a broader term, communication, looks and feels to us particularly for my generation. And what I mean by that is how … if we were going to have a conversation