Theories Of Social Justice

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According to the NASW (2018), social workers primarily focus on social justice rooted in “issues of poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and other forms…” Social justice is then accomplished by seeking to “promote sensitivity to and knowledge about oppression and cultural and ethnic diversity,” in addition to seeking out the necessary information for services and resources. Furthermore, social justice, according to the NASW pertains to equality in economic, political and social rights and opportunities.
A tension point within a social justice framework is the simple fact of ensuring that not only groups, but also individual people are supported in receiving justice. For example, a certain religious group may say they are experiencing social
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According to Sherwood (1997), the definitions of justice are essentially assumed based on worldviews. Lebacqz (1986) explains that there are six worldviews: utilitarianism, John Rawls’ perspective, the entitlement theory by Robert Nozick, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Jose Porfirio Miranda.
Mill provides the utilitarianism perspective of social justice. Mills stated that “the right thing to do is what produces the most good” (Lebacqz, 1986, p. 15). Therefore, justice is accomplished when the most good is produced for all people. On the other hand, Rawls provided the idea that justice is achieved when the least advantaged is benefitted. The main difference between Mill and Rawls is that Mill is focused on the outcome while Rawls is focused on the process of how justice is
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One of the points discussed with the common good was the idea of individualism. Though the common good strives for communal equality, social justice is on a more individualistic level, striving for justice within individuals. It was previously mentioned that it is important to find a balance between individualism and the common good. Having reached the common good brings society one step closer to accomplishing social justice.
Nevertheless, optimal health and well-being, the common good, and social justice all closely relate to one another. Without one aspect, another cannot be accomplished. Lebacqz (1986) clearly points out in the bishops’ perspective of justice that “individual rights and the common good are never in opposition to each other but are mutually supporting basic principles” (p. 71). As previously mentioned, individual rights represent social justice. Without optimal health and well-being, there is not love. Without love, there is not social change for the common good nor social
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