Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Egalitarianism, Overview

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_645

Introduction

Egalitarianism is typically understood as a political doctrine or a social philosophy. However, based on its association with the inherent worth of all human beings, egalitarianism also can have moral and religious/spiritual meanings. In keeping with its etymological roots in the French word for “equal,” the subject of egalitarianism has at its heart a number of critical questions regarding the meaning and value of equality. These include the following: (1) How should equality be defined, (2) is the goal of equality desirable or morally right or are certain forms of inequality desirable and morally right, (3) what is the basis for the desirability or moral rightness of equality, (4) can equality be achieved or is inequality inevitable, (5) what factors give rise to inequality and can such inequalities be remediated or eliminate, and (6) what measures can be used to determine if the goal of equality has been achieved (Vlastos, 1962) In light of these diverse issues,...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

References

  1. Barry, B. (2005). Why social justice matters. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  2. Frankena, W. K. (1962). The concept of social justice. In R. B. Brandt (Ed.), Social justice (pp. 1–29). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  3. Marmot, M., & Wilkinson, R. G. (2006). Social determinants of health (2nd ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Miller, D. (1999). Principles of social justice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Rawls, J. (1971). A theory of justice. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Rawls, J. (2001). In K. Erin (Ed.), Justice as fairness: A restatement. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Sampson, E. E. (1975). On justice as equality. Journal of Social Issues, 31, 45–64.Google Scholar
  8. Sen, A. (1999). Development as freedom. New York, NY: Anchor Books.Google Scholar
  9. Vlastos, G. (1962). Justice and equality. In R. B. Brandt (Ed.), Social justice (pp. 31–72). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  10. Wilkinson, R., & Pickett, K. (2009). The spirit level: Why greater equality makes societies stronger. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Press.Google Scholar

Online Resources

  1. The equality trust. www.equalitytrust.org.uk
  2. Unnatural causes…is inequality making us sick? http://www.pbs.org/unnaturalcauses/

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Psychology Program, Chicago School of Professional PsychologyChicagoUSA