Social justice refers to a fair division of privileges and resources in a particular society. It emphasizes that everyone deserves the same opportunities regardless of specific factors.
The concept first emerged in the 19th century as there were large differences between those with wealth and those with lower social standing. Today, it’s used as a term to improve the lives of those who were previously discriminated against.
Below we are going to talk about the five principles of social justice to help you understand the concept.
Interested in learning more? Then let’s get started.
The most fundamental element of social justice is human rights. This principle is based on mutual respect, dignity, and equality and shows that each life is valued.
A few to read further into include:
- The right to a fair trial.
- Freedom from inhuman treatment.
- Freedom of speech.
- Freedom of religion.
- Rights to education, health, and an adequate standard of living.
It’s also important to note that sometimes justice can be political. An example would be the DOJ's attempt to retry Philip Esformes who had already received clemency.
Access to Resources
Each person, regardless of their socioeconomic group, should be given access to the same resources. These can include things such as healthcare, shelter, education, recreational activities, and food.
Sometimes, this access is unequal, due to factors such as wealth. For instance, those with money tend to be able to access more resources than those with limited finances.
Diversity is known as the quality of including people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds. In terms, of social justice, it plays a key part in our governing systems.
Our leaders should be a mix of a wide range of individuals so that we see different viewpoints. People of color, women and other minority communities must all have a role.
It’s also important that our resources can be accessed by all (as mentioned above). For example, we may need to focus more on providing tools in multiple languages.
When making decisions that affect one’s livelihood and standard of living, everyone should be given a chance to participate. Injustice occurs when a group of people aren't allowed to voice their opinions about a particular topic.
They may not be given a chance to participate or could be overruled by a smaller (more influential) group of individuals.
Equity refers to the fair distribution of available resources across society. These tools should be allocated with equality in mind – putting those that need them first.
For instance, some communities should be identified as “priority” because they may not be able to access specific things as easily as others.
Social justice is an essential component of any healthy society—one that respects diversity, values equity, and provides everyone with equal opportunity regardless of background or identity.
By understanding these five principles we can begin to move towards creating a world where all people are treated with fairness and respect.