Brian Barry Why Social Justice Matters

ISBN 13: 9780745629933

Why Social Justice Matters

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9780745629933: Why Social Justice Matters
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In the past twenty years, social injustice has increased enormouslyin Britain and the United States, regardless of the party in power.At the same time, the idea of social justice itself has beensubverted, as the mantras of personal responsibility and equalopportunity have been employed as an excuse for doing nothing aboutthe enrichment of the few at the expense of the many and for makingever harsher demands on the poor and vulnerable.

With grace and wit, Brian Barry exposes the shoddy logic anddistortion of reality that underpins this ideology. Once weunderstand the role of the social structure in limiting options, wehave to recognize that really putting into practice ideas such asequal opportunity and personal responsibility would require afundamental transformation of almost all existing institutions.

Barry argues that only if inequalities of wealth and income arekept within a narrow range can equal prospects for education,health and autonomy be realized. He proposes a number of policiesto achieve a more equal society and argues that they areeconomically feasible. But are they politically possible?

The apparent stability of the status quo is delusory, heresponds: radical changes in our way of life are unavoidable.Whether these changes are for better or for worse depends partly onthe availability of a coherent set of principles and a programmeflowing from them that is capable of mobilizing the growingdiscontent with business as usual. That is, ultimately, why socialjustice matters.

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About the Author:

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

Review:

“A brilliant polemic against inequality.”
Roy Hattersley, The Guardian

“Barry's pugnacious defence of a robust social democracydeserves to find a wide readership ... for disillusioned socialdemocrats, Why Social Justice Matters stands as arefreshingly staunch and intelligent manifesto.”
New Statesman

“Barry's writing is extremely engaging. His arguments aresupported by a wide range of examples and illustrations and animpressive breadth of scholarship.”
Ethics and Social Welfare

“This book is a powerful argument against the utterinequity of the current political and economic system in the UK andagainst the way in which a discourse of ‘equalopportunities’ is used to maintain what Barry describes asthe ‘machinery of injustice’. In this extraordinarilysimple and lucid book, Barry weaves striking threads of supportingevidence, anecdotes, quotations and statistics together toencourage us to insist that another (just) world is not onlypossible but that an unjust world cannot endure.”
British Journal of Sociology

“Barry persuasively argues that differentials inpositional goods allow the rich to have better personal health dueto higher self-esteem, better access to more fulfilling jobs due toa wealth of social connections, and greater ability to capture thegovernment and use it to secure their own interests.”
Utilitas

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9780745629926: Why Social Justice Matters

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Book Description Polity Press, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the past twenty years, social injustice has increased enormously in Britain and the United States, regardless of the party in power. At the same time, the idea of social justice itself has been subverted, as the mantras of personal responsibility and equal opportunity have been employed as an excuse for doing nothing about the enrichment of the few at the expense of the many and for making ever harsher demands on the poor and vulnerable. With grace and wit, Brian Barry exposes the shoddy logic and distortion of reality that underpins this ideology. Once we understand the role of the social structure in limiting options, we have to recognize that really putting into practice ideas such as equal opportunity and personal responsibility would require a fundamental transformation of almost all existing institutions. Barry argues that only if inequalities of wealth and income are kept within a narrow range can equal prospects for education, health and autonomy be realized. He proposes a number of policies to achieve a more equal society and argues that they are economically feasible. But are they politically possible? The apparent stability of the status quo is delusory, he responds: radical changes in our way of life are unavoidable. Whether these changes are for better or for worse depends partly on the availability of a coherent set of principles and a programme flowing from them that is capable of mobilizing the growing discontent with business as usual. That is, ultimately, why social justice matters. Seller Inventory # AAH9780745629933

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