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James Midgley, Rebecca Surender and Laura Alfers

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Edited by Daniela Grunow and Marie Evertsson

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Edited by Rune Halvorsen and Bjørn Hvinden

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Edited by David Levi-Faur and Frans van Waarden

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Edited by David Levi-Faur and Frans van Waarden

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Edited by David Levi-Faur and Frans van Waarden

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Alan Walker

What does social justice mean with respect to later life? We need to comprehend the social injustices that are associated with old age, or what might be termed unjust ageing. These are inequalities that arise from the way that societies are organised rather than from diversities such as gender, race, ethnicity, personality or physical attributes that characterise all human societies. The good fortune to be born a woman does not have to result in injustice but, in patriarchal societies, it invariably means a subordinate economic status entailing lower income and more labour market precarity than a man, which in time means lower pension in old age. This inequality is not inevitable, but it is universal because societies are not arranged in ways to prevent it. The chapter looks at the policy measures required to ensure that social injustice is minimised in later life and the principles underpinning such a programme.

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Michael J. Prince

This chapter reviews debates about the nature of social justice with reference to Canada, in relation to welfare state arrangements, politics and social policies. Significant factors affecting the development of welfare provision and public attitudes to it include the treatment of Indigenous peoples and the impact of colonialism, apparent in the legacy of social assistance and, against the market economy and neo-liberalism of the present age, the begrudging public aid offered to poor people and disabled people. It shows in the persistent inequalities and insecurities in economic and social spheres of life, and the social justice work of social movements and activists. Social justice, both as idea and discourse, is highly relevant and hotly contested in Canadian social policy and governing. In the Canadian political context, social justice invariably is a constitutional and intergovernmental affair involving relationships and disputes between federal government and the provincial/territorial governments and Indigenous governments.

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Miriam E. David

The idea that gender equality in education has been achieved is a staple of public debate in this age of global neoliberalism. Consequently, educational policies, practices and underpinning research often do not deal explicitly with gender issues, such as sexual abuse, bullying, harassment, rape or violence against women and girls, nor with the more usual issues of the intersections between social class, diversity, ethnicity, racism or sexualities. Changing concepts of gender and sexuality, especially lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, queer, or intersexual are also not usually included in these considerations about educational equality. The assumption that neoliberal education has provided for individual opportunities for all, whether for social class or social mobility, and the gender norms on which they are based, is taken as axiomatic. The chapter argues this kind of educational approach is ‘misogyny masquerading as metrics’ and for changes in the patriarchal rules of the game, including questioning ‘gender norms’ and stereotypical binaries.

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Gary Craig

This chapter is based on the findings of a study which sought to investigate how UK civil society associations (CSAs) understood the meaning of social justice, and the extent to which they felt it was reflected in their work. The chapter offers a glimpse of the way in which other, particularly non-state, organisations might assess the social justice orientation of what they do. CSAs are generally defined as incorporating voluntary and community sector organisations, faith-based groups, trades unions, informal citizen groups, cooperatives and mutual and political parties. In short, civil society is all forms of human association that fill the space between the state and the individual, and between the public and the private spheres. The research showed that CSAs tended to identify the key elements of social justice as to do with fairness and equality. The chapter reviews the extent to which these were reflected in the structure and practices of the organisations, their relationship with their publics and the outcomes of their work.