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Ideology, Psychology, and Law$
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Jon Hanson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199737512

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199737512.001.0001

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System Justification Theory and Research: Implications for Law, Legal Advocacy, and Social Justice

System Justification Theory and Research: Implications for Law, Legal Advocacy, and Social Justice

Chapter:
(p.81) Chapter 3 System Justification Theory and Research: Implications for Law, Legal Advocacy, and Social Justice
Source:
Ideology, Psychology, and Law
Author(s):

Gary Blasi

John T. Jost

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199737512.003.0003

This chapter reviews theory and research on System Justification Theory (SJT) and summarizes key implications for law, lawyers, and social justice advocacy. According to SJT, lawyers should attend to all relevant social orders and implicit as well as explicit biases in selecting jurors and developing advocacy strategies. The theory identifies important obstacles to social change, including changes in the law and legal scholarship. This chapter highlights some of the ways in which system justification motives result in behaviors that are unanticipated by current models of legal thinking. It discusses the persuasive power of “reframing,” whereby advocates can deploy narrative to exacerbate or diminish the system-justifying motives of legal and public policy decision-makers.

Keywords:   political ideology, complementary stereotypes, system justification theory, rational choice, behavioral realism

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