The College of Liberal Arts at Temple University The College of Liberal Arts at Temple University


Social Justice

We are interested in how globalization affects local and regional development and how it contributes to changing economic, social, and environmental inequalities both between and within places, with different populations having different life chances depending on their social and geographic location. Our research focuses on the intersection of place and inequality (including gender, race/ethnicity and economic inequalities) both within and between US and international contexts, individual and collective action for equity, and the actors and the process of policy making at multiple scales.




Carolyn Adams, David Bartelt, Sanjoy Chakravorty, Melissa R. Gilbert, Ben Kohl, Rob Mason, Michele Masucci, Jeremy Mennis, Rickie Sanders


Research Projects


Indicators of Inequality among Metropolitan Communities (Carolyn Adams and David Bartelt)


Professors Adams and Bartelt, along with colleagues from Sociology and Political Science, established the Metropolitan Philadelphia Indicators Project to create a set of social, environmental, and economic indicators that follow important trends in the quality of life in the region. Funded by about $2 million from the William Penn Foundation, the project documents the unequal access in different communities to employment, public services, education, arts and culture, and many other dimensions of community life.


Digital Divides and Urban Inequalities (Melissa R. Gilbert)


This research examines the intersection of inequalities in access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) and economic inequalities using Philadelphia as a case study. Through quantitative and qualitative analysis of primary and secondary data, this research seeks to understand the relationships among technological and social capital embedded in particular neighborhoods, occupational sex and race segregation, local labor markets, and access to and use of ICTs and related information flows in areas important to people such as jobs, education, and political participation. By understanding the relationships among gendered, racialized and place inequalities in terms of access to ICTs and economic empowerment, this research will contribute to policy discussions about how to empower people living in poverty.

Life History of Bolivian Activist Felix Muruchi (Ben Kohl)


This project is a collaborative life history of Felix Muruchi, a Bolivian activist. He was born to an indigenous peasant family near one of Bolivia's major tin-mining centers in 1946, the year that bonded labor was officially outlawed; he entered the mines in his teens and rose to become a union leader. He was imprisoned and twice forced into exile before returning to Bolivia in 1985, where he still lives. The narrative ends in 2006, with the election of the country's first indigenous president. We use Mr. Muruchi's life to tell the history of modern Bolivia.

Environmental Justice (Jeremy Mennis)


Environmental justice is the principle that all people have equal protection under environmental laws and the right to participate in environmental decision-making in their community.  I am interested in the quantitative analysis of race, class, and other socioeconomic characteristics as they relate to indicators of environmental risk, particularly toxins produced from industrial and commercial activity.  Recent research has focused on the distribution of air toxic releases in New Jersey , as well as on racial equity in actions taken by agencies responsible for enforcing environmental policies. For more information, go HERE.


Recent Publications



Adams, C., Bartelt, B., Elesh, D., and Goldstein, I. 2008. Restructuring the Philadelphia Region: Metropolitan Divisions and Inequality. Temple University Press.


Chakravorty, S. and S. Lall. 2007. Made in India : The Economic Geography and Political Economy of Industrialization . New Delhi : Oxford University Press.


Chakravorty, S. 2006. Fragments of Inequality: Social, Spatial, and Evolutionary Analyses of Income Distribution . New York : Routledge.


Crossney, K. and D. Bartelt. 2006. The Missing Link: An Assessment of the Legacy of the Home Owners' Loan Corporation. Housing Policy Debate 16(3/4):547-574.


Crossney, K. and D. Bartelt. 2005. Residential Security, Risk, and Race: The Home Owners' Loan Corporation and Mortgage Access in Two Cities. Urban Geography 26(8):707-736.


Bartelt D. 2004. Workforce Systems Change in a Politically Fragmented Environment. In R. Giloth, ed. Workforce Development Politics: Civic Capacity and Performance . Philadelphia : Temple University Press.


Gilbert, M. R., Masucci, M., Homko, C., and Bove, A. A. 2008. Theorizing the Digital Divide: Information and CommunicationTechnology Use Frameworks among Poor Women using a Telemedicine System. Geoforum.


Gilbert, M. and Masucci, M. 2008. Reflections on a Feminist Collaboration: Goals, Methods and Outcomes. In Feminisms in Geography: Space, Place, and Environment . Edited by K. Falconer Al-Hindi and Pamela Moss. Rowman and Littlefield, pp. 237-246.


Gilbert, M. and Masucci, M., 2005.Moving Beyond “Gender and GIS” to a Feminist Perspective on Information Technologies: The Impact of Welfare Reform on Women's IT Needs” In A Companion to Feminist Geography . Edited by J. Seager and L. Nelson. Blackwell Publications, pp.305-321.


B Kohl and L Farthing. 2006. Impasse in Bolivia: Neoliberal Hegemony and Popular Resistance, Zed Press, London (2007 Spanish edition with additional chapter, Bumerán boliviano, Editores Plural, La Paz ).


B Kohl. 2003. “Democratizing Decentralization in Bolivia : The Law of Popular Participation,” Journal of Planning Education and Research , 23(2) 153-164.


B Kohl. 2003. “Restructuring Citizenship in Bolivia : El Plan de Todos ,” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 27(2), 337-351.


B Kohl. 2002. “Stabilizing Neoliberalism in Bolivia : Privatization and Participation,” Political Geography , 21(4) 449-472.


Taylor, R.B. & R. Mason. 2002. Responses to Prison for Environmental Criminals: Impacts of Incident, Perpetrator and Respondent Characteristics. Environment and Behavior 34(2): 194-215.


Mennis, J. and Jordan, L., 2005. The distribution of environmental equity: exploring spatial nonstationarity in multivariate models of air toxic releases . Annals of the Association of American Geographers , 95(2): 249-268.


Mennis, J., 2005. Socioeconomic inequity in hazardous facility location and enforcement in New Jersey . The Professional Geographer , 57(3): 411-422.


Sanders, R., 2006. Urban Public Space. In Public Space and the Ideology of Place in American Culture . Miles Orvell and Jeffrey Meikle, Eds.


Sanders, R., 2 006. Social Justice: Musings of a Woman of Color in Geography. Gender, Place, and Culture, 13.


Sanders, R., 2006. “The Triumph of Geography: A Viewpoint. Professional Geographer, 32.


Sanders, R., 2006. Teaching the Geographies of Urban Areas: Views and Visions. With Tine Beneker, Sirpa Tani, LizTaylor and Rob van der Vaart. International Research in Geographic and Environmental Educatio, 16.



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