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Social Justice Research

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 49–60 | Cite as

Social justice as a Holy Grail: The endless quest

  • Kenneth E. Boulding
Article

Abstract

This paper gives the author's impressions on the following aspects of justice: desert, equity, equality, need, and intergenerational equity. The author concludes that these different aspects cannot be reconciled but instead must be compromised. An example of such a compromise is provided by a discussion of welfare reform. The author claims that rights are correlative with duties, and that asserting the former has little meaning without specifying the latter. He then discusses justice toward groups rather than individuals. He proposes that maintaining cultural variety in the presence of a homogeneous “superculture” is a major problem of the contemporary world. The paper concludes with a discussion of various forms of power, particularly the “integrative power” that people acquire over each other by virtue of ties of loyalty and identity.

Keywords

Social Psychology Social Policy Social Justice Cultural Variety Welfare Reform 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

  1. Boulding, K. E. (1972). Social justice in social dynamics. In Brandt, R. B. (ed.),Social Justice, Prentice-Hall, New York, pp. 73–92.Google Scholar
  2. Jencks, C.,et al. (1972).Inequality: A Reassessment of the Effect of Family and Schooling in America, Basic Books, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Morgan, J. N. (1978). Intra-family transfers revisited: The support of dependents inside the family. In Duncan, G. J., and Morgan, J. N. (eds.),Five Thousand American Families: Patterns of Economic Progress, Vol. 6, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, pp. 347–366.Google Scholar
  4. Rawls, J. (1971).A Theory of Justice, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  5. Smith, A. (1966).Theory of Moral Sentiments, Augustus M. Kelley Reprints, New York. (Original work published 1759)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth E. Boulding
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Behavioral ScienceUniversity of Colorado-BoulderBoulder

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