Article Reviews & Studies

Social Injustice and Shaping Minds

Mind Shaping

The Social Cognition of Mindshaping

“Mindshaping is Inescapable, Social Injustice is not” was written by Victoria McGreer in 2019. It was published in the Australasian Philosophical Review. The article focuses on the idea of mindshaping social cognition. Primarily, the article analyzes Haslanger’s Critical Social Theory, and how current cultural practices avoid eliminating social injustice.  She hypothesizes how social injustice can be reduced through the close study and analysis of enculturation within specific social groups and facets (McGreer, 2019).

McGreer (2019) describes a well-developed resistance in the practice of injustice, even when it is practiced subconsciously. Fortunately, there are several strategies to resist and correct social injustice, including mindshaping and acquiring new cognitive capacity.  And great emphasis should be placed on encouraging activists as to how to appropriately work towards social reform (2019).  That said, however, varying difficulty exists between the many cultural practices of injustice, as some practices are more tolerant than others.

The article concludes that genuine change can come from the skill of mindshaping social expectations. Social expectations should be changed based upon behavioral situations (McGreer, 2019). For instance, individuals who ponder certain behavior before acting are more likely to have an impact on social reform. Some examples of questions may include: “Is this acceptable?,” “Will they kick me out?,” and “Will they like me if I do this?” There are also more “mass applications” of the power of social expectations on actual reform. For example, the author references the #MeToo movement as an example (McGreer, 2019).

With an increasingly aggressive and polar world, there are a lot of practices of injustice and discrimination.  It is difficult to avoid prejudice, and everyone possesses some implicit biases.  McGreer’s reflections on Haslanger’s work and her investigation into social expectations, social identity, and enculturation can definitely help reduce social problems. The article is a significant step in the direction of affirming mindshaping can make an impact on social reform.


McGeer, V., (2019) Mindshaping is Inescapable, Social Injustice is not: Reflections on Haslanger’s Critical Social Theory, Australasian Philosophical Review, 3:1, 48-59, DOI: 10.1080/24740500.2019.1705231

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