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Against the Odds?Social Class and Social Justice in Industrial Societies$
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Gordon Marshall, Adam Swift, and Stephen Roberts

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198292401

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198292401.001.0001

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Social Justice

Social Justice

Chapter:
(p.7) 2 Social Justice
Source:
Against the Odds?
Author(s):

Gordon Marshall

Adam Swift

Stephen Roberts

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198292401.003.0002

This chapter examines particular issues that emerge in relating social inequality, as manifested in the form of social class. It shows that inequality of position may sometimes be defended on the grounds that it results from freedom of choice or that it promotes productivity, and it may also be endorsed because it gives people what they are entitled to. These two justifications may coincide but they need not necessarily do so. The chapter suggests that the existence of a class structure implies unequal distribution of power and advantage and that therefore any understanding of justice as equality of outcome must rule out the possibility of a just class structure.

Keywords:   social inequality, social class, freedom of choice, justice, equality

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