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Social Justice Research

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 134–155 | Cite as

Social Justice and Communication: Mill, Marx, and Habermas

  • Martin Morris
Article

Abstract

This article concerns how one may theorize a social justice of communication. The article argues that the theory of democracy cannot neglect an analysis of communication and that, indeed, a social justice of communication can be identified in the discourse ethics of Jürgen Habermas’s “deliberative” theory of democracy. The socio-political analyses of communication in John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx are examined as precursors to Habermas’s position because they are useful for setting off the unique synthesis of the liberal and critical traditions that Habermas develops. Such a social justice of communication shows how the communicative mediation of the public sphere can ameliorate the tension between individual autonomy and the solidarity of group membership by communicatively empowering individuals under conditions of mutual respect and equal dignity.

Keywords

Social justice Communication Communicative rationality Discourse ethics Deliberative democracy John Stuart Mill Karl Marx Jürgen Habermas 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication StudiesWilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada

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