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Why Social Justice Matters


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Table of Contents

Preface. Part I. Social Justice: The Basics. Why We Need a Theory. The Machinery of Social Injustice. The Scope of Social Justice. Part II: Equality of Opportunity. Why Equal Opportunity?. Education. Health. The Making of the Black Gulag. Part III. What's Wrong with Meritocracy?. The Idea of Meritocracy. The Abuse of Science. Part IV. The Cult of Personal Responsibility. Responsibility versus Equality?. Rights and Responsibilities. Irresponsible Societies. Part V. The Demands of Social Justice. Pathologies of Inequality. Wealth. Jobs and Incomes. Can We Afford Social Justice?. Part VI. The Future of Social Justice. The Power of Ideas. How Change Happens. Meltdown?. Justice or Bust. Notes. Index.

About the Author

Brian Barry is Lieber Professor of Political Philosophy at Columbia University.


"A brilliant polemic against inequality." Roy Hattersley, The Guardian "Barrya s pugnacious defence of a robust social democracy deserves to find a wide readership ... for disillusioned social democrats, Why Social Justice Matters stands as a refreshingly staunch and intelligent manifesto." New Statesman "Barrya s writing is extremely engaging. His arguments are supported by a wide range of examples and illustrations and an impressive breadth of scholarship." Ethics and Social Welfare "This book is a powerful argument against the utter inequity of the current political and economic system in the UK and against the way in which a discourse of 'equal opportunities' is used to maintain what Barry describes as the 'machinery of injustice'. In this extraordinarily simple and lucid book, Barry weaves striking threads of supporting evidence, anecdotes, quotations and statistics together to encourage us to insist that another (just) world is not only possible but that an unjust world cannot endure." British Journal of Sociology "Barry persuasively argues that differentials in positional goods allow the rich to have better personal health due to higher self--esteem, better access to more fulfilling jobs due to a wealth of social connections, and greater ability to capture the government and use it to secure their own interests." Utilitas

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