(Not)Minding the gap: Negotiating social distance across service learning experiences

Kendra Brewster, Melanie A Fricchione, Sara A. Murphy, Phoebee Jean, Christina M. Sloan


The qualitative analysis of the experiences of a small study of 23 service learners indicated that individuals negotiate social distance as they: (1) ascribe agency in action and affect to themselves and others; (2) consider whether they belong on-site and connect with others; and, (3) grapple with the structural inequalities that shape social life. In discussing the multiple dimensions of social distance, this analysis ends with questions that critical service learning practices and pedagogies can address.


critical service learning, intergroup relations, qualitative, disorienting dilemma

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