Asia Pacific Education Review

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 117–133 | Cite as

School leadership for social justice and its linkage with perilous politics

  • Nai-Ying WhangEmail author


This paper explores the phenomenon of perilous politics of school leadership for social justice, in order to strengthen social equity for educational development. School leadership for social justice emphasizes that leaders can make efforts to pursue equitable relationships of gender, class, race, culture, etc. Therefore, it stresses the understanding of ‘intersectionality’ of multiple biases. However, school leadership for social justice can easily initiate perilous politics. As a result, school leaders would not overburden the perilous politics of relation tear derived from the interest pursuit of stakeholders. This qualitative research chose a junior high school by purposive sampling for a case study. There were 14 participants, including 1 principal, 3 administrative chairs, 3 administrative directors, 3 chairs of subject areas, 2 parents, and 2 students. Interviews were conducted to collect data. Based on the analyses and discussions of research results, the findings are as follows: (1) there is great care for the disadvantaged students; (2) the structure of collective responsibility is linked with the process of community support; (3) there is perilous politics of pathological diffusion and respect decline; and (4) self-empowerment and deliberative intervention is risen to assume the perilous politics to play reasonable perilous politics.


Junior high school Link to perilous politics School leadership for social justice Understanding of intersectionality Case study Structure and process 



The research reported on in this paper was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, R.O.C. (Taiwan).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


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Copyright information

© Education Research Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan, ROC

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