Social Justice – What is it, definition and concept | 2022

The concept of social justice refers to the need to redistribute the results produced by the market after its normal operation. But not only that, it does not stay in the economic part, but adds other facets such as labor, rights and freedoms, tolerance, integration, non-discrimination, among others.

That is to say, social justice refers to the balance and labor, economic, social equality and rights that must exist among all people in any society. Ultimately, social justice affects all areas of life.

Social justice is a relatively modern term that has gained weight in developed societies in recent years.

The search for a fairer society in all areas corresponds to the State, in collaboration with the rest of social agents such as companies, organizations and the rest of the population.

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Origin and history of social justice

The term social justice was coined by the priest Luigi Taparelli in the 1840s, referring to the practical equality of rights among all human beings. Such was the repercussion that is part of the social doctrine of the Church.

Later, the term was linked to left-wing thought, which argued that all social advances had to go in favor of a common improvement of citizens, making improvements permeate all strata of society.

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After World War II and the implementation of the welfare state in developed countries, social justice is something that these social democracies pursue. Although the degree of search depends on the parties in government and the context experienced.

In recent years, already in the 21st century, the concept of social justice has taken on such weight that it is one of the guides for global political action. The UN, in 2007, established February 20 as the world day of social justice. The so-called 2030 Agenda and the Millennium Development Goals are plans whose general purpose is to pursue and consolidate social justice.


Social justice is an interdisciplinary term, it does not affect only one area, but seeks to influence different areas, and they are the following:

  • Economic: In the economic field, it seeks to eradicate the poverty that plagues much of the planet. But it also seeks a greater distribution of income, reducing existing inequalities within the same population. He does not conceive that there are people from the same country in extreme situations, millionaires and people on the street. Taxes, aid, subsidies, reinsertion income, among others, are policies that seek this redistribution and balance.
  • Labor: This area is closely related to the previous one. Social justice seeks that all people have a decent job and more than enough to earn a living. For this reason, there is an increasing search for better working conditions, something that is achieved through pressure from unions and workers. Some policies are the regulation of working hours, compensation for dismissal or the minimum wage.
  • Tolerance: It is key to a peaceful coexistence and so that no one suffers the consequences of being or thinking differently from the rest. This is something that the population has achieved thanks to events such as globalization. The countries have a large number of immigrant populations, their integration has made it easier for cultural imports to be better tolerated.
  • Discrimination: Another objective and area on which social justice acts is the eradication of discrimination of any kind. This generates a situation of inequality that translates into difficulty in achieving the life projects that one deems appropriate. Therefore, the legislation prohibits discrimination based on sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.
  • Equal opportunities: It is a key concept, it is one of the bases of social justice. Individuals in any society must have the same opportunities to achieve certain objectives. Public and universal healthcare and education are one of its main engines.
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