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The Community Legal Clinic Movement in Ontario: Practice and Theory, Means and Ends

By: Michael Blazer

This paper is an account of the experience of a progressive movement which hints at the possibility of a different way of thinking about social change — one that replaces the problem of aligning theory and practice with an immersion in practical, localized struggles which nevertheless can be guided by general principles. In particular, it suggests that a “bottom line” for the strategy and tactics of social justice should be a refusal to divorce means from ends: that whatever long-term utopian vision one has of a transformed society, one needs to look for opportunities to live out and realize elements of that vision, however fragmentarily or imperfectly, in the “here and now” of political and personal interaction. It suggests, also, that such efforts need not be limited by the assumptions of deep-structure social theory because experience shows that there is no clear division between conflicts that take place within a given context and conflicts about the basic terms of that context.

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Uploaded on: Jun 29, 2016
Year Published: 1990
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