Allan E. Barsky: A Question of Justice

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Justice has been defined by theorists, researchers, and practitioners in a various manners. Often, discussions about justice are problematic because people are speaking at cross purposes. Sometimes, they are speaking about different types of justice (e.g., restorative, regenerative). Further, they may be speaking about different contexts in which justice is being sought (e.g. responses to criminal behavior, child abuse, discrimination, or polluting the environment). In the research to develop a new conversational domain about the nature and meaning of justice, we need to consider the purpose and contextual frame in which we are defining this concept. This article explores the questions we should be asking when we develop this new conversational domain. Asking about our preferred responses to behavior perceived as harmful or oppressive, for instance, is different than asking about what policies will lead to equality, peace, and fairness in society. Once we agree upon the questions to be asked, we can then apply a person-centered approach and grounded theory to engage individuals and groups in meaningful conversations about justice.


Justice, Restorative, Retributive, Regenerative

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