Cultural tolerance is essential in the peaceful existence of diverse groups within the same social space. One of the critical issues that have been mentioned is social justice. According to Romero (2020), social justice is a concept that advocates for the fair treatment of all individuals concerning access to resources and opportunities. Current approaches in social justice recognize the existence of diverse groups regarding issues such as religion, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, among others. As a result, there has been increased lobbying to ensure that persons that belong to minority groups are not discriminated against because of their unique tendencies. Social justice sentiments began with the issue of race and gender. In recent years, advocacy groups have fought for the rights of people who face discrimination due to their sexual orientation. There is a need for individual reflection on social justice issues to foster deep understanding and that everyone in the society takes an active role in ensuring fairness for all persons.
Understanding Social Justice
To understand social justice, there is a need to accept that society is culturally diverse. Society justice is a crucial element in normative ethics because it prevents the discrimination of a person or a group of people based on cultural aspects such as ethnicity, gender, race, or sexual orientation. Tribe and Bell (2018) explain that social justice requires that people live with sensitivity and understanding towards one another. There are fundamental rights that should be accorded to all human beings. For instance, the right to be treated with dignity and the right to life. Social justice exists in an environment where people can enjoy their freedom free from any form of discrimination merely because they are culturally different. However, Tribe and Bell (2018) also explain that social justice is more complex, and most definitions often cover only some of its aspects. For instance, freedom does not exist in a vacuum, and there is a need to understand that there are limitations. Social justice advocates for people to enjoy their rights without infringing on other people’s freedom. The true face of social justice promotes peace and harmony in society and advocates for an environment where all persons enjoy a genuine sense of belonging.
Identifying Social Justice
There are specific norms and tendencies in society that provide evidence for the existence of social justice. The philosophy does not necessarily imply a utopian society. Social justice is a process that begins with the acknowledgment that human beings are diverse (Noltemeyer & Grapin, 2021). Most communities in the contemporary world cannot claim to possess social justice because discrimination exists in varying degrees, even though there is the consciousness that there is a need to treat all persons fairly. Even countries in the first world demonstrate favoritism regarding race, gender, and sexual orientation. A perfect example is gender discrimination, evident despite decades of advocacies. Women are yet to achieve equality due to institutions and systems that favor men. The number of women leaders, even in the developed world, is wanting. However, there is a need to appreciate that numerous discourses address the issue of social justice. Multiple studies have attempted to understand and demystify cultural diversity. Almost all findings indicate that variety has little to do with competency (Noltemeyer & Grapin, 2021). For example, the traditional assumption that men make better leaders has been refuted in places where women have been given leadership opportunities. Social justice is a process rather than an end because minority cultural groups are constantly getting bold to demand social space. An essential aspect of consideration is the consciousness of the existence of diversity and the willingness of everyone in society to take responsibility for promoting fairness.
Promoting Social Justice
Promoting social justice is a complex task because issues of fairness, injustice, and discrimination are not always black and white. Tribe and Bell (2018) explain that there is a need to find a harmonious balance between freedom and social equality. There are instances where when expressing freedom and an individual might compromise social equality. For example, a person might use the concept of freedom of expression to speak ill about a group of culturally different people. Emotional intelligence demands that people are sensitive to the feelings of others when making remarks about diversity. In the contemporary world, people living in diverse societies often encounter circumstances where a person or a group of people make negative remarks towards individuals of difference, race, religion, ability level, or sexual orientation. Understanding how to respond in such situations without unnecessarily creating tension is necessary. Practicing caution and tolerance is crucial because, in most instances, people make negative remarks in such cases as a result of ignorance rather than arrogance. Therefore, it is essential to understand why a person is making such remarks before rebuking them. There are instances where it is also prudent to walk away when there is the possibility that any response may worsen the conflict.
The last time I thought about race, gender, and ethnicity was during the recent protests and riots by Black Lives Matter advocacy group members. The issue was not just about African Americans but included white Americans and other races. Furthermore, the protests took a global perspective when the group heightened its online presence. The demonstrations prompted me to think about the centuries of racial discrimination and the atrocities delved against minority groups. In addition, I was disturbed about whether social justice is an attainable goal or merely a utopian dream.
Children and Families
Social justice debates have promoted recognizing vulnerable groups and crucial institutions requiring special attention. For instance, children are often given priority during difficult times such as natural calamities. Whereas adults can usually take care of themselves, children often suffer most during such disasters. As a result, they are always accorded special attention and priority. The family unit is considered the basis for every society. Therefore, it is always given privileges to keep members together, and children grow up in safe environments. However, children and families also experience unique challenges. Children often suffer from decisions made by their parents because, as minors, they cannot make severe choices concerning essential issues in life. Families also experience challenges due to emerging dynamics that do not favor the unit. For example, harsh economic conditions that require both parents to work deny children the chance to enjoy parental love. These conditions also place unnecessary pressure on parents, often affecting their mental health.
Social justice is an essential consideration for positive outcomes in society. A personal reflection on the matter is crucial to encourage understanding and ensure that individuals take responsibility for promoting fairness and justice. Promoting social justice is vital because it gives each person a role. When discussing the philosophy, there is a need to pay special attention to children and families. The discourses should not be limited to cultural issues such as gender, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
Noltemeyer, A., & Grapin, S. L. (2021). Working together towards social justice, anti-racism, and equity: A joint commitment from school psychology international and journal of education and psychological consultation. School Psychology International, 42(1), 3-10. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0143034320977618
Romero, M. (2020). Sociology engaged in social justice. American Sociological Review, 85(1), 1-30. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1177/0003122419893677
Tribe, R., & Bell, D. (2018). Social justice, diversity, and leadership. The European Journal of Counselling Psychology, 6(1), 111-125. doi:10.5964/ejcop.v6i1.145