Justice and the Politics of Difference: [New in Paper]

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Overview

In this classic work of feminist political thought, Iris Marion Young challenges the prevailing reduction of social justice to distributive justice. It critically analyzes basic concepts underlying most theories of justice, including impartiality, formal equality, and the unitary moral subjectivity. The starting point for her critique is the experience and concerns of the new social movements about decision making, cultural expression, and division of labor--that were created by marginal and excluded groups, including women, African Americans, and American Indians, as well as gays and lesbians. Iris Young defines concepts of domination and oppression to cover issues eluding the distributive model. Democratic theorists, according to Young do not adequately address the problem of an inclusive participatory framework. By assuming a homogeneous public, they fail to consider institutional arrangements for including people not culturally identified with white European male norms of reason and respectability. Young urges that normative theory and public policy should undermine group-based oppression by affirming rather than suppressing social group difference. Basing her vision of the good society on the differentiated, culturally plural network of contemporary urban life, she argues for a principle of group representation in democratic publics and for group-differentiated policies.

Danielle Allen's new foreword contextualizes Young's work and explains how debates surrounding social justice have changed since--and been transformed by--the original publication of Justice and the Politics of Difference.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Politics
Young has written an extremely important book, articulating a position which challenges theorists of justice from Plato to Rawls.
— Andrew Murphy
Canadian Philosophical Reviews
This is a superb book which opens up many new vistas for theorists of justice. Young makes a number of insightful arguments both about the issues that need to be addressed by a theory of justice, and about the kind of theory capable of addressing them.
— Will Kymlicka
Signs
With remarkable precision and clarity, Young constructs a 'pluralized' account of oppression, aiming to describe all the groups and all the ways they are oppressed.
Journal of Politics - Andrew Murphy
Young has written an extremely important book, articulating a position which challenges theorists of justice from Plato to Rawls.
Canadian Philosophical Reviews - Will Kymlicka
This is a superb book which opens up many new vistas for theorists of justice. Young makes a number of insightful arguments both about the issues that need to be addressed by a theory of justice, and about the kind of theory capable of addressing them.
From the Publisher

Winner of the 1991 Victoria Schuck Award, American Political Science Association

"Young has written an extremely important book, articulating a position which challenges theorists of justice from Plato to Rawls."--Andrew Murphy, Journal of Politics

"This is a superb book which opens up many new vistas for theorists of justice. Young makes a number of insightful arguments both about the issues that need to be addressed by a theory of justice, and about the kind of theory capable of addressing them."--Will Kymlicka, Canadian Philosophical Reviews

"With remarkable precision and clarity, Young constructs a 'pluralized' account of oppression, aiming to describe all the groups and all the ways they are oppressed."--Signs

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691152622
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 9/11/2011
  • Edition description: New in Paper
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 323,674
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Iris Marion Young (1949-2006) was a professor of political science at the University of Chicago. Her books include "Intersecting Voices", "Inclusion and Democracy", and "On Female Body Experience".
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Table of Contents

Foreword to the 2011 Edition ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 3

Chapter 1 Displacing the Distributive Paradigm 15

The Distributive Paradigm 16

The Distributive Paradigm Presupposes and Obscures Institutional Context18

Overextending the Concept of Distribution 24

Problems with Talk of Distributing Power 30

Defining Injustice as Domination and Oppression 33

Chapter 2 Five Faces of Oppression 39

Oppression as a Structural Concept 40

The Concept of a Social Group 42

The Faces of Oppression 48

Applying the Criteria 63

Chapter 3 Insurgency and the Welfare Capitalist Society 66

Normative Principles of Welfare Capitalist Society 67

The Depoliticization of Welfare Capitalist Society 70

The Ideological Function of the Distributive Paradigm 74

The Administered Society and New Forms of Domination 76

Insurgency and the Repoliticization of Public Life 81

The Dialectic of Recontainment versus Democracy 88

Democracy as a Condition of Social Justice 91

Chapter 4 The Ideal of Impartiality and the Civic Public 96

Postmodernist Critique of the Logic of Identity 98

The Ideal of Impartiality as Denying Difference 99

The Impossibility of Impartiality 102

The Logic of Identity in the Ideal of the Civic Public 107

Ideological Functions of the Ideal of Impartiality 111

Participatory Democracy and the Idea of a Heterogeneous Public 116

Chapter 5 TheScaling of Bodies and the Politics of Identity 122

The Scaling of Bodies in Modem Discourse 124

Conscious Acceptance, Unconscious Aversion 130

Behavioral Norms of Respectability 136

Xenophobia and Abjection 141

Moral Responsibility and Unintended Action 148

Justice and Cultural Revolution 152

Chapter 6 Social Movements and the Politics of Difference 156

Competing Paradigms of Liberation 158

Emancipation through the Politics of Difference 163

Reclaiming the Meaning of Difference 168

Responding Difference in Policy 173

The Heterogeneous Public and Group Representation 183

Chapter 7 Affirmative Action and the Myth of Merit 192

Affirmative Action and the Principle of Nondiscrimination 193

Affirmative Action Discussion and the Distributive Paradigm 198

The Myth of Merit 200

Education and Testing as Performance Proxies 206

The Politics of Qualifications 210

Oppression and the Social Division of Labor 214

The Democratic Division of Labor 222

Chapter 8 City Life and Difference 226

The Opposition between Individualism and Community 227

The Rousseauist Dream 229

Privileging Face-to-Face Relations 232

Undesirable Political Consequences of the Ideal of Comunity 234

City Life as a Normative Ideal 236

Cities and Social Injustice 241

Empowerment without Autonomy 248

Epilogue: International Justice 257

References 261

Index 277

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