In a world where genocide, hunger, poverty, war, and disease persist and where richer nations often fail to act to address these problems or act too late, a prerequisite to achieving even modest social justice goals is to clarify the meaning of competing discourses on the concept. Throughout history, calls for social justice have been used to rationalize the status quo, promote modest reforms, and justify revolutionary, even violent action. Ironically, as the prominence of the concept has risen, the meaning of social justice has become increasingly obscured.
This authoritative volume explores different perspectives on social justice and what its attainment would involve. It addresses key issues, such as resolving fundamental questions about human nature and social relationships; the distribution of resources, power, status, rights, access, and opportunities; and the means by which decisions regarding this distribution are made. Illustrating the complexity of the topic, it presents a range of international, historical, and theoretical perspectives, and discusses the dilemmas inherent in implementing social justice concepts in policy and practice. Covering more than abstract definitions of social justice, it also includes multiple examples of how social justice might be achieved at the interpersonal, organizational, community, and societal levels.
With contributions from leading scholars around the globe, Reisch has put together a magisterial and multi-faceted overview of social justice. It is an essential reference work for all scholars with an interest in social justice from a wide range of disciplines, including social work, public policy, public health, law, criminology, sociology, and education.