Justice and the Politics of Difference

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Princeton University Press, Aug 22, 2011 - Social Science - 304 pages
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In this classic work of feminist political thought, Iris Marion Young challenges the prevailing reduction of social justice to distributive justice. It critically analyzes basic concepts underlying most theories of justice, including impartiality, formal equality, and the unitary moral subjectivity. The starting point for her critique is the experience and concerns of the new social movements about decision making, cultural expression, and division of labor--that were created by marginal and excluded groups, including women, African Americans, and American Indians, as well as gays and lesbians. Iris Young defines concepts of domination and oppression to cover issues eluding the distributive model. Democratic theorists, according to Young do not adequately address the problem of an inclusive participatory framework. By assuming a homogeneous public, they fail to consider institutional arrangements for including people not culturally identified with white European male norms of reason and respectability. Young urges that normative theory and public policy should undermine group-based oppression by affirming rather than suppressing social group difference. Basing her vision of the good society on the differentiated, culturally plural network of contemporary urban life, she argues for a principle of group representation in democratic publics and for group-differentiated policies.


Danielle Allen's new foreword contextualizes Young's work and explains how debates surrounding social justice have changed since--and been transformed by--the original publication of Justice and the Politics of Difference.

 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
3
Displacing the Distributive Paradigm
15
Five Faces of Oppression
39
Insurgency and the Welfare Capitalist Society
65
The Ideal of Impartiality and the Civic Public
96
The Scaling of Bodies and the Politics of Identity
122
Social Movements and the Politics of Difference
156
Affirmative Action and the Myth of Merit
192
City Life and Difference
226
INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE
257
References
261
Index
277
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Iris Marion Young (1949-2006) was a professor of political science at the University of Chicago. Her books include Intersecting Voices, Inclusion and Democracy, and On Female Body Experience.

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