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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Social Injustice is a concept relating to the claimed unfairness or injustice of a society in its divisions of rewards and burdens and other incidental inequalities. The concept is distinct from those of justice in law, which may or may not be considered moral in practice, or from the concept of justice within a coherent ideological system, which focuses on just process rather than on incidental inequalities. Opposition to social injustice is increasingly a platform of emerging political parties. Social injustice arises when equals are treated unequally and unequals are treated equally. (Aristotle's principle of injustice)

Historically, authors have used literature to denounce or to satirize perceived social injustices in their societies. Some examples are Niyi Osundare, Tatamkhulu Afrika, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Dario Fo, Minfong Ho, Victor Hugo, Harper Lee, James A. Michener, Harold Pinter, Upton Sinclair, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Oscar Wilde, Alan Paton, and George Orwell.

Social injustice is caused by certain barriers that prevent full social justice. Some of the major barriers include: prejudice, discrimination, oppression, racism, classism, ableism, ageism,sterotyping and sexism. Over the last 30–40 years, most social injustice in the US and the world has been based on economic class and the lack of access to non-violent mechanisms for reform by the middle class and working class. In order to fully overcome incidental inequalities which some view as socially unjust these barriers must be removed from our society and differences to rig equality of outcome must be embraced.

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Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Social injustice is moral unfairness or inequity in the division of a society’s rewards or burdens. Differing perceptions of the presence and inevitability of social injustice lie at the root of many of the world’s political conflicts.


  • Et, se venons tout d'un père et d'une mere, Adam et Eve, en quoi poent il dire ne monstrer que il sont mieux signeur que nous, fors parce que il nous font gaaignier et labourer ce que il despendent? Il sont vestu de velours et de camocas fourés de vair et de gris, et nous sommes vesti de povres draps. Il ont les vins, les espisses et les bons pains, et nous avons le soille, le retrait et le paille, et buvons l'aige. Ils ont le sejour et les biaux manoirs, et nous avons le paine et le travail, et le pleue et le vent as camps, et faut que de nous viengne et de nostre labeur ce dont il tiennent les estas.
    • If we all spring from a single father and mother, Adam and Eve, how can they claim or prove that they are lords more than us, except by making us produce and grow the wealth which they spend? They are clad in velvet and camlet lined with squirrel and ermine, while we go dressed in coarse cloth. They have the wines, the spices and the good bread: we have the rye, the husks and the straw, and we drink water. They have shelter and ease in their fine manors, and we have hardship and toil, the wind and the rain in the fields. And from us must come, from our labour, the things which keep them in luxury
    • John Ball, quoted in Jean Froissart Chroniques (1369-1400), Bk. 2; translation from Jean Froissart (trans. Geoffrey Brereton) Chronicles (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1968) p. 212.
  • For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
  • Il n'y a de société vivante que celle qui est animée par l'inégalité et l'injustice.
    • The only living societies are those which are animated by inequality and injustice.
    • Paul Claudel Conversations dans le Loir-et-Cher (Paris: Gallimard, [1935] 1984) p. 22; translation from The Independent, February 6, 2001.
  • It's the same the whole world over:
    It's the poor what gets the blame.
    It's the rich what gets the pleasure;
    Ain't it all a bloomin' shame.
    • Chorus of "She Was Poor but She Was Honest", an anonymous street ballad of the late 19th century; cited from Eric Partridge (ed. Paul Beale) A Dictionary of Catch Phrases (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986) p. 267.
  • O esforço humano consegue, quando muito, converter um proletariado faminto numa burguesia farta; mas surge logo das entranhas da sociedade um proletariado pior. Jesus tinha razão: haverá sempre pobres entre nós. Donde se prova que esta humanidade é o maior erro que jamais Deus cometeu.
    • Human effort may manage at its best to transform a starving proletariat into a well-fed bourgeoisie; but then a worse proletariat emerges from the bowels of society. Jesus was right, there will always be the poor among us. Which proves that this humanity is the greatest error that God ever committed.
    • "O Natal" (Christmas), from José Maria Eça de Queiroz Cartas de Inglaterra (1879-82); translation from José Maria Eça de Queiroz (trans. Ann Stevens) Letters from England (London: Bodley Head, 1970) pp. 36-7.
  • Where Plenty smiles - alas! she smiles for few,
    And those who taste not, yet behold her store,
    Are as the slaves that dig the golden ore,
    The wealth around them makes them doubly poor.
  • Ye have the poor with you always.

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