Chapter Two THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL JUSTICE Social justice is important because it moves us toward becoming a society that is inclusive, unified, and considers differences as opportunities to learn and grow (Hamilton, 2021). We have read several definitions of social justice, but to truly understand its importance we have to look at the history behind its purpose. One study of the history of social justice has stated that it “arose in the early 19th century during the Industrial Revolu- tion and subsequent civil revolutions throughout Europe” (Pachamana Alliance, 2021). Another stated that “from the beginning of civilization to the American Revolution, the monarchs, priests, and the nobility class ruled the world and that economic growth would only enhance the wealth of those who were already rich or powerful” (Ornstein, 2017). However, by the twentieth century, social justice had expanded instead of the main focus being entirely on economics, it has shifted to include other parts of life, such as the environment, race, gender, and other causes and dispari- ties. The downside of this was that as society began to measure inequities, comparisons were only made among people within the same groups/ classes. Notably, “society cannot be fair or just if it has different categories or types of citizenship” in which white people are considered first-class citizens and all others are oppressed groups. This is where the concept of social justice stemmed from, in the idea that inequality had to be reduced or eliminated and opportunities for poor and working people needed to be expanded (Ornstein, 2017). Thus, the commitment to change began with those who recognized the lack of opportunities for these marginalized
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