Peter Saunders's Definition Of Fairness

859 Words4 Pages
Peter Saunders is a 21st century sociologist whose research interests include analysing the social and economical structures associated with poverty and income distribution, living standards and welfare reform. This essay will discuss Saunders’s definition of ‘fairness’ in the context of the Australian notion of ‘fair go’. Saunders utilises a monopoly metaphor to compare and analyse egalitarian, meritocratic and classical liberalist ideologies to the ‘Australian’ understanding of fairness. The egalitarian is shown to be outraged at the notion of unequally distributed property and income, the meritocrat troubled that the players who have the most skill have ended up property-less through the chance of the dice, and the Liberalist content that…show more content…
Sawer, identifies that in order for certain individuals/classes to have equal opportunities the government had to step in with the introduction of a means-tested income, among many other interventions. These interventions demonstrated the Australian governments growing egalitarian views, as seen in the White Australia Policy (Saunders, 2004 p.6). This policy was designed to provide Australian workers with priority employment over immigrants. Nonetheless, this egalitarian interpretation of fairness has disintegrated over the last quarter of a century and has been substituted for an economy that utilises diversity and liberalistic principles. Saunders utilises the welfare system debate to demonstrate how political activists and individuals who lobby against the governments attempts to reduce the number of people on welfare; or to have welfare recipients participate in some form of mutual obligation- such as the working for the dole scheme, show only an understanding of procedural fairness not the distributional aspect of fairness (Habibis, 2015 p.86). What drives these ideologies is the three different core ideologies of fairness that have been seen and used within the Australian culture: meritocratic, egalitarian and liberalistic systems. The meritocratic principle of fairness focuses on the idea of ‘just deserts,’ which upholds that if all individuals are afforded the same chances to ‘compete’- even though some individuals possess more talent, greater work ethic, etc, and will hence reap higher rewards, all in all the competition was fair. The egalitarian definition believes in equal distribution of resources in order to create fairness. Rawls (1921-2002) acknowledges that an unequal distribution can only occur if no alternative arrangement can be created to afford the

More about Peter Saunders's Definition Of Fairness

Open Document