Agenda for Social Justice

President's Welcome

As an organization, the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) has a membership that is well-versed in a myriad of specific and broad problems facing the world. With the complexity and onslaught of crises worldwide, we can all be tempted to throw up our arms and get lost in a Netflix series, but as a social justice organization grounded in social science, we do not have that option. Instead, we engage in work that creates solutions toward a more just world. The SSSP was created and is sustained by individuals who have identified solutions to social problems. We are an organization of scholars who create dreams of transformation, guided and built upon our sociological imagination and research, sense of hope in humanity, and a belief in our ability to create change. We mobilize our sociological research and insight to inform policy and activism that will lead to the creation of more just worlds. Imagine for a moment, we could easily be the Society for the Study of Social Solutions! On behalf of the SSSP, I am honored to invite you to read the Agenda for Social Justice: Solutions for 2020 and to thank Glenn Muschert and his team for their work on this superb volume.

Heather M. Dalmage, Roosevelt University
SSSP President, 2019-2020

The Agenda for Social Justice: Solutions for 2020 provides accessible insights into some of the most pressing social problems in the United States and proposes public policy responses to those problems. It offers recommendations for action by elected officials, policymakers, and the public regarding key issues for social justice, including a discussion of social problems related to racism, health disparities, educational inequalities, criminal justice issues, and the environment. 

Agenda for Social Justice cover

2020 Committee Members
Glenn W. Muschert, Chair 
Khalifa University of Science Technology

Kristen M. Budd
Miami University

Michelle Christian
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

David C. Lane
Illinois State University

Robert Perrucci 
Purdue University

Jason A. Smith
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan

Previous AgendasAgenda for Social Justice, Solutions 2016

Agenda for Social Justice, Solutions 2012

Agenda for Social Justice, Solutions 2008

Agenda for Social Justice, Solutions 2004 

Access Options

Click here to access a pdf verison of the Agenda for Social Justice: Solutions for 2020 now.


Purchasing Options

The Agenda is available in hard copy and e-reader versions for a nominal fee. Please consider purchasing the Agenda to support the SSSP!

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Table of Contents

Editors: Glenn W. Muschert, Kristen M. Budd, Michelle Christian, and Robert Perrucci 

Front Matter

President’s Welcome
Heather Dalmage

Editorial Introduction
      Glenn W. Muschert and Kristen M. Budd

SECTION I Ethnicity, Race, and Gender

Chapter 1. Islamophobia
      Aneesa A. Baboolal

Chapter 2. Latinos are Each of Us: Fair and Just Immigration Policies for All
      Noreen M. Sugrue and Sylvia Puente

Chapter 3. The Intersection of Gender and Race in the U.S. Family Law: Persistent Social Inequities and Rollback Reforms
      Bronwen Lichtenstein

SECTION II Health and Families

Chapter 4. Reproductive Rights
      Sujatha A. Jesudason 

Chapter 5. In Pursuit of Justice in the U.S. Health Care Policy: Pathways to Universal Coverage
      Jennifer Roebuck Bulanda and Amelia Pittman

Chapter 6. The Problem of Unpaid Parental Leave
      Ronald E. Bulanda and Jennifer Roebuck Bulanda


Chapter 7. Power, Privilege, and #MeToo in Academia: Problems, Policies, and Prevention around Sexual Misconduct
      Sarah Jane Brubaker and Brittany Keegan

Chapter 8. "They Tested with Stress": Solving Racial Injustice in Assessment by Acknowledging Adverse Childhood Experiences
      Mawule A. Sevon and La Trice L. Dowtin

Chapter 9. Black Girls and School Suspension
      Cherrell Green 

SECTION IV Crime and (In)Justice

Chapter 10. Police Homicides: The Terror of "American Exceptionalism"
      Robert Aponte and Hannah Hurrle

Chapter 11. Crimmigration: The Presumption of Illegality and Criminalization of Immigrants
      Kristen M. Budd and Bianca E. Bersani

Chapter 12. Alleviating the Mark of a Criminal Record: Prison Programming and Post-Incarceration Employment
      Sadé L. Lindsay

SECTION V Enduring Challenges

Chapter 13. Ending the Persistence of Homelessness
      R. Neil Greene and Wayne Centrone

Chapter 14. Risks to Journalists’ Safety and the Vulnerability of 135 Media Freedom in the U.S.  
      Sadia Jamil and Glenn W. Muschert

Chapter 15. Environmental Justice 
      David N. Pellow

Chapter 16.  Protecting and Rewarding Workers in the 21st Century 
      Arne L. Kalleberg

SECTION VI Looking Forward

Chapter 17. The Contested Construction of Social Problems
      Stephen Pfohl

Afterword: America on the Edge: Fighting for a Socially Just World
      Michelle Christian


“Agenda for Social Justice continues to demonstrate that scholar activism is vital in producing knowledge that can champion change for a better world.” 
Mary Romero, Former President of the American Sociological Association

This useful volume proposes solutions to the most important social problems of our time.” 
Luis A. Fernandez, Northern Arizona University, and SSSP President 2017-2018

"This book offers an accessible, engaging, and critical tool, drawing on cutting-edge social justice research to create positive social change." 
Nancy J. Mezey, Monmouth University, and SSSP President 2018-2019