Document Type




Publication Date

Spring 2020


Association for the Study of Higher Education

Source Publication

The Review of Higher Education

Source ISSN



In this qualitative, multiple-case study, we explored 30 students' experiences across three social justice living-learning communities (LLC) to understand their conception of social justice and LLC involvement. Moreover, we examined the community elements that advanced these outcomes. Despite similar goals across communities, students demonstrated variation in their understanding of and commitment to involvement in social justice initiatives. We advance a typology describing patterns of involvement and social justice understanding in which we categorize students into four quadrants, including informed activist, informed bystander, uninformed volunteer, and uninformed bystander. Further, we describe contextual elements that influenced these patterns, discussing implications for practice.


Published version. The Review of Higher Education, Vol. 43, No. 3 (Spring 2020): 837-860. DOI. © 2020 Association for the Study of Higher Education. Used with permission.

Brianne Johnson was affiliated with University of Michigan’s Ginsberg Center for Community Service at the time of publication.

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