Professor Dean Spade discusses the tenuous relationship between the law and social change with Guernica.
Guernica: How does focusing on law reform fall short? Why is legal inclusion a flawed ideal?
Dean Spade: A lot of my writing is about trying to understand what role legal work has in strategies for transformative social change. Part of the reason that question is so important right now is that there has been widescale attacks on social movements over the last thirty or forty years in response to the very meaningful social movements in the sixties and seventies that had very transformative demands, that were seeking a redistribution of wealth and of life chances in really significant ways. What’s emerged in their place is a very thin national narrative about social change that often centers on the law and often says that groups that are marginalized or experiencing subjugation of various kinds should just win lawsuits and pass laws to change their lives.
Read the full interview at Guernica.