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The Civil Sphere$
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Jeffrey C. Alexander

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195162509

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195162509.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 October 2021

Possibilities of Justice

Possibilities of Justice

(p.13) Chapter 1 Possibilities of Justice
The Civil Sphere

Jeffrey C. Alexander

Oxford University Press

This book is about justice and about the democratic institutions and beliefs that can sustain justice in our massively complex and highly stratified world. Justice depends on solidarity, on the feeling of being connected to others, of being part of something larger than ourselves, a whole that imposes obligations and allows us to share convictions, feelings, and cognitions, gives us a chance for meaningful participation, and respects our individual personalities even while giving us the feeling that we are all in the same boat. This chapter asks: What could be more important than justice? What has been more important to the dynamics of our societies? What has been more difficult to conceptualize in social theory and philosophy, and what more difficult to explain in social science?

Keywords:   justice, democratic institutions, solidarity, social theory

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