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The Experience of Injustice

Toward a Better Understanding of its Phenomenology
  • Gerold Mikula
Part of the Critical Issues in Social Justice book series (CISJ)

Abstract

“The more to a man’s disadvantage the rule of distributive justice fails of realization, the more likely he is to display the emotional behavior we call anger” (Homans, 1961, p. 75). This proposition of Homans (1961), his related analyses, and Adams’ (1965) seminal work on inequity were the main stimuli for the development of a new area of social psychological inquiry dealing with justice and injustice. Considerable progress has been made in this field, as documented in several recent books (e.g., Folger, 1984; Greenberg & Cohen, 1982; Lerner & Lerner, 1981; Mikula, 1980). However, as Deutsch (1983) has correctly pointed out recently, “there is practically no research relating to the phenomenology of injustice, to the actual experiences of people who inflict injustice or to those who suffer injustice” (p. 312). There is very little evidence on the quality of emotions that follow perception of an injustice (see Greenberg’s 1984 review of what evidence there is); the same holds for the cognitive processes elicited by the perception of an injustice. Several authors (e.g., Cohen, 1982; Kayser & Schwinger, 1982; Mikula, 1984; Utne & Kidd, 1980) have suggested that attributional thoughts will be elicited and mediate the reactions to a perceived unjust event. Empirical data are lacking here too, however.

Keywords

Emotional Response Distributive Justice Social Setting Retrospective Report Unfair Treatment 
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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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerold Mikula
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für PsychologieKarl-Franzens-Uraversität GrazGrazAustria

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