Social Justice

We define social justice as “justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.”

woman holding a sign in protest
Photo by Life Matters

Investopedia’s Economic Definition

Even more detailed is Investopedia’s economic definition of social justice (SJ). Here’s some of what they say about it: SJ is a political and philosophical theory. It asserts that there are dimensions to the concept of justice beyond those embodied in the principles of civil or criminal law, economic supply and demand, or traditional moral frameworks. SJ tends to focus more on just relations between groups within society. As opposed to the justice of individual conduct or justice for individuals.

History of Social Justice

“Historically and in theory, the idea of SJ is that all people should have equal access. To wealth, health, well-being, justice, privileges, and opportunity regardless of their legal, political, economic, or other circumstances. In modern practice, SJ revolves around favoring or punishing different groups of the population, regardless of any given individual’s choices or actions, based on value judgements regarding historical events, current conditions, and group relations. In economic terms, this often means redistribution of wealth, income, and economic opportunities from groups whom social justice advocates consider to be oppressors to those whom they consider to be the oppressed. SJ is often associated with identity politics, socialism, and revolutionary communism.”

“Efforts to promote SJ usually target various demographics, either to further their interests in order to counteract perceived oppression or to punish them for perceived past offenses. Broadly, demographic characteristics often the target of social justice attention include: race, ethnicity, and nationality; gender and sexual orientation; age; religious affiliation; and disability. Different types of SJ initiatives may exist to promote equality or redistribute power and status between groups. This is in the areas of wealth, health, well-being, justice, privileges, and economic status. In economic terms, SJ most often amounts to efforts to redistribute wealth, income, or economic opportunities from privileged groups toward underprivileged ones.”

What Are The Goals ?

Proponents of SJ can seek to achieve their goals through a wide range of peaceful or non-peaceful means, including various government programs, social campaigns, public activism, violent revolution, or even terrorism. At the government level, SJ initiatives can pursue various different types of programs. These can include direct redistribution of wealth and income; protected legal status in employment, government subsidies, and other areas for underprivileged groups; or legalized discrimination against privileged groups up to and including expropriation, collective punishment, and purges.

So we have some questions for YOU ! What’s SJ mean to you ? What social justice efforts are you aware of ? Have you involvement in any social justice initiative ?

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