Victims, Citizens and the Potential for Justice
Chapter 2: Approaching justice
Justice matters to victims, justice professionals and the wider community, but why and in what ways? The chapter makes a path through justice literature to identify different meanings: justice is a norm; a philosophical ideal; a standard; an outcome; and also an institution. The chapter emphasizes the manner in which the idea of justice works; that is, as an interpretive tool, a trope in discourse, and as an analytic and critical code. Justice is thus conceived as a commonplace and public idea that is also vernacularized in interpersonal worlds. In these intimate spaces, the terms what is fair and what is right are commonly used by ordinary people. Justice is a word more generally reserved for public discourse. Therefore, it works as a connecting idea; something that links private to public, and offers opacity to language that, paradoxically, communicates what is important.
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