Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Social Justice, Overview

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_595


Human history bears witness to a wide range of social institutions that have been established in the name of social justice. One striking feature of these different institutions is the extent to which they often diverge from one another. For example, while some argue that the cause of social justice is advanced by ensuring that individuals are able to engage in unfettered economic exchange, others view the rise of the calculating economic agent as the very embodiment of social injustice. This suggests that the struggle for social justice ultimately begins in a struggle over the meaning of justice itself.


At the most basic level, the idea of social justice highlights the social, political, legal, and institutional arrangements that characterize particular forms of social organization. One reason why this definition is so broad is that what one group takes to be a defining feature of social justice (i.e., rights, recognition) may be viewed by another group as a...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Prince Edward IslandCharlottetownCanada