The Federation Press

Justice in Society

Overview

In a society where politics has become increasingly polarised, interrogating our understanding of justice is critical. Australia has always made claims to being a just and fair society so why, then, do certain groups of people continue to experience the worst forms of injustice in our society? Why is it that our criminal justice system is host to the most disadvantaged and disenfranchised in our community? And why do these injustices continue, despite numerous attempts by researchers and activists to address them?

By exploring the ways in which we think about justice, Justice in Society considers these questions. The authors examine how the contributions of political philosophy and sociology have come to dominate discussion on issues ranging from asylum seeking to transphobic discrimination. By considering the common assumptions about justice and injustice that underpin these discussions, the book seeks to engage, challenge, and offer new possibilities for achieving justice in society.

Fully updated and expanded, the second edition features two new chapters looking at the lives of transgender people and disabled people. It continues its coverage of contemporary social issues such as homelessness, mental illness, and Indigenous policing. Each issue is placed in its historical, social, and cultural context, and linked to local, national, and global debates.

Reviews

Reviews of previous edition:

"The authors of Justice in Society challenge the notion of what it means to have a just society. This is done by examining the assumptions that underpin our current understanding of the sources of injustices with a view to examining the nature of justice and injustice.
… this book makes excellent use of current statistical data as well as recent sociological studies. It also tackles important, current topical legal issues such as mental health problems and sex trafficking. This book is an interesting read and worthwhile for any practitioner or student interested in questions of justice and injustice." — Cameron Scott, Law Letter, Law Society of Tasmania, Autumn 2014

"Happily, Justice in Society is not a work that throws around [these] weighty concepts with glib abandon. Nor does it try to neatly parcel them as straightforwardly divisible and definable propositions. … In this respect Justice in Society is, refreshingly, a true discussion, with the reader left in many instances to draw their own conclusions based on arguments and well-selected statistics.
The strength of this book is its targeted and precise discussion of issues highly relevant to the way our society is evolving. It is only a slender work but the arguments, or the “questioning of assumptions”, as the book states, is done with an impressive brevity given the breadth and complexity of the issues addressed.
The principle, and the book, is salutary. ... In this respect, a book that poses the question of justice and provokes an answer, instead of delivering it, is to be applauded." — Benjamin Dighton, Hearsay, July 2013, 63

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition
About the Authors
Acknowledgments

Introduction
PART 1 – Thinking about Justice

1. Justice and Injustice: Stories about Society
1. Introduction
2. Justice and Injustice are Easily Identifiable
3. All People, by Virtue of being Human, have an Inherent Moral Worth
4. Treating People with Equality is the Basis for a Just Society
5. Conclusion

2. Space, Place, and Time: Stories about Ourselves
1. Introduction
2. The Sociological Imagination: Moving from Personal Space to Social Space
3. Cultural Ethnography: Moving from Our Place to Other Places
4. A History of the Present: Moving from Our Time to Other Times
5. Conclusion

3. Class, Race, and Sex: Stories about Difference
1. Introduction
2. Establishing Access to Success for All: Egalitarianism
3. If You Work Hard Enough, You Will Make It: Meritocracy, Hard Work, and Success
4. It’s Because They Just Aren’t Suited For It: Social Darwinism, Race, and Justice
5. It’s a Girl Thing: Biological Determinism, Sex, and Justice
6. Conclusion
PART 2 – Justice and the Self

4. Poverty, Power, and Justice
1. Introduction
2. Poverty in Australia
3. Poverty as the Result of a Moral Failing
4. Poverty as the Result of Life Chances and Structural Inequality
5. Culture, Power, and the Shaping of Freedom
6. Conclusion

5. Women, Difference, and Justice
1. Introduction
2. Women, Injustice, and Patriarchy
3. Equality will be Achieved through the Same Treatment of Women
4. Equality Should Recognise and Reward the Differences Between Men and Women
5. Essentialism, Universalisation, and Normalisation
6. Conclusion

6. Transgender People, Binaries, and Justice
1. Introduction
2. Transgender People and Injustice
3. Bodies, Essentialism, and Transgender People
4. Gender, Cisgender Socialisation, and Transgender People
5. Challenging the Binary and Reconsidering ‘Trans’
6. Conclusion

7. Indigenous Australians, Othering, and Justice
1. Introduction
2. Indigenous Australians and Injustice
3. Indigenous Injustice as an Individual Problem
4. Indigenous Injustice as a Product of Social Institutions
5. The Creation of the ‘Other’
6. Conclusion

8. Sexuality, Normalisation, and Justice
1. Introduction
2. Sexuality and Injustice
3. Sexuality as Natural
4. Sexuality is Social
5. ‘Sexuality’ as an Historical and Cultural Category
6. Conclusion

9. Disabilities, Diverse Embodiment, and Justice
1. Introduction
2. Disability and Injustice
3. Impairment, Treatment, and People with Disabilities
4. Disablement, Ableism, and Disabled People
5. Dis/Ability, Modernist Subjectivity, and the Government of Difference
6. Conclusion

10. Young People, Responsibility, and Justice
1. Introduction
2. Young People and Injustice
3. Young People are in Need of Protection, and are Not Responsible
4. Anti-Social Behaviour is Normal in Young People
5. The Historical Construction of Childhood
6. Conclusion
PART 3 – Responding to Injustice

11. Criminal Law, Equality, and Justice
1. Introduction
2. Equality Before the Law
3. Inequality of the Law
4. Law, Equality, and Risk
5. Conclusion

12. Punishment, Treatment, and Justice
1. Introduction
2. Punishment and the Rational Offender
3. Responding to the Social Context of Offending
4. Punishment, Power, and Government
5. Conclusion

13. Human Rights, Citizenship, and Justice
1. Introduction
2. Citizenship is an Inclusive Status that Protects Human Rights
3. Citizenship is an Exclusive Status that Fails to Protect Human Rights Equally
4. Political Belonging Beyond the Nation-State
5. Conclusion

Conclusion

References
Index

Of interest...