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Just ResponsibilityA Human Rights Theory of Global Justice$
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Brooke A. Ackerly

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190662936

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190662936.001.0001

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Injustice Itself

Injustice Itself

Complex Causality, Power Inequalities, Normalization, and the Social Epistemologies of Injustice

Chapter:
(p.71) 2 Injustice Itself
Source:
Just Responsibility
Author(s):

Brooke A. Ackerly

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190662936.003.0003

Chapter 2 defines injustice itself and argues that political responsibility requires taking on injustice itself. Injustice itself entails complex causality, power inequalities, normalization, and the social epistemologies of injustice. Complex causality means that taking responsibility for injustice itself cannot require that we first understand how we are connected to an injustice and all of the factors contributing to it. Relatively powerful actors can exploit power inequalities causing domination, economic or physical exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, cultural imperialism, violence, and oppression. Normalization is when social, economic, and political habits can render the consequence of these so familiar that their unjustness is invisible. Even when these consequences are observed, social epistemologies can function like normalization at the cognitive level—creating shared understandings of how to interpret those consequences such that they are not assessed as matters of injustice. These points are illustrated drawing on research on gender, environment, and climate change in addition to the garment industry.

Keywords:   epistemic injustice, Aristotle, relationality, freedom, equality, social norm, normalization, marginalization, natural disaster, climate change

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