The Federation Press

Justice in Society


Australia has always made claims to being a just and fair society. It is a land of opportunity, where anyone can make it, and where mateship rather than class underpins social relations. Why is it, then, that our criminal justice system is host to the most disadvantaged and disenfranchised in our community? Why do certain groups of people continue to experience the worst forms of injustice in our society? And why do these injustices continue, despite numerous attempts by researchers and activists to address them?

By exploring the ways in which we think about justice in the wider Australian society, this book considers these questions. As disciplines that have the most to say about justice and injustice, it analyses the contributions of political philosophy and sociology, and examines how their ideas have come to dominate discussion on issues ranging from asylum seeking to homophobic violence. By examining the shared assumptions about justice and injustice that underpin these discussions, this book also charts a course between and beyond these debates, and seeks to engage, challenge, and offer new possibilities for justice in Australian society.

Relevant contemporary social issues like sex trafficking, homelessness, mental illness and Indigenous policing are examined throughout, placed in their historical, social and cultural context, and linked to local, national and global debates. Such analyses examine the broader implications of these criminological, social and legal issues for those excluded from justice in Australian society.

Table of Contents

Introduction - Justice in Society

Part I – Thinking About Justice
Justice and Injustice: Stories About Society Space, Place and Time: Stories about Ourselves Class, Race and Sex: Stories about Difference

Part 2 – Justice and the Self
Poverty, Power and Justice Women, Difference and Justice Indigenous Australians, Othering and Justice Sexuality, Normalisation and Justice Young People, Responsibility and Justice

Part 3 – Responding to Injustice
Criminal Law, Equality and Justice Punishment, Treatment and Justice Human Rights, Empathy and Justice Citizenship, Belonging and Justice Conclusion

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