The four perspectives on social justice: A review

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This article reviews the literature on social justice with an emphasis on the subjective properties of justice. The author contends that there are four major perspectives for understanding past research into the history of justice and its future directions: a) the antecedents of justice which identify the criteria and factors of perceptions of fairness, b) the consequences of justice which focus on the effect of fairness perceptions on individual responses, c) the motives for justice wrhich discuss why people are sensitive to fairness, and d) the concerns of justice that highlight the internal and/or external conditions driving people to fairness. The author reviews the vast amount of theoretical and empirical research that underlies each of the 4 approaches mentioned above. Important directions of future research are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-330
Number of pages26
JournalResearch in Social Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • Distributive justice
  • Procedural justice
  • Social justice
  • Subjective approach to justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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