Social justice is about the appropriate inclusion of all people in the construction of society. No group of people should bear a disproportionate burden of risk, and no group of people should hold a disproportionate amount of beneficial resources. Social justice is about inclusion, respect, and reciprocity.
The belief that our societies are egalitarian—meaning that in the current state of affairs all people are equal and have equal rights—is a myth. Social justice exists when our policies move toward equal footing while accounting for historical disadvantage.
The Potlatch is a cultural practice of the Kwakiutl and other Native American groups in British Columbia. The premise is that prestige and social standing is determined by one’s ability to share and abandon private material wealth for the good of the group.
In this piece, Martha Nussbaum argues that global justice is best thought about by using the Capabilities Approach rather than the more traditional ways of thinking like Social Contract Theory. The Capabilities Approach suggests that there a set of basic human entitlements, similar to human rights, as a minimum of what justice requires for all.