Social Justice Essay

1745 Words Jul 26th, 2013 7 Pages
Question
‘Social justice ... is neither the exclusive terrain of social welfare nor of crime control. Indeed, the boundaries between these two domains tend to be mobile and porous’ (Book 1, Social Justice: Welfare, Crime and Society, p. 168).
Explain and illustrate this with reference to examples drawn from at least two chapters from Book 1.

According to Newman & Yeates (2008) Social Justice is a device that can be called upon to challenge particular forms of inequality or unfairness and can mobilise people in order to bring about change. It is a social construction and, because therefore it is something that is learned, it is open to contestation and change. Social Justice is concerned with the powers that define what is
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Part of the result of the Right to Buy scheme was that council house building declined substantially and the prospect of residing on a council estate is now often one of gloom, as demonstrated in Lynsey Hanley’s book “Estates: an Intimate History (2007)”. Council estates are portrayed as suffering from many of society’s problems, including alcoholism, drug addiction, poverty, high crime rates, unemployment (with its associated reliance on welfare benefits) and high levels of teenage pregnancy. Hanley’s book, and indeed other representations within the media of council estates portray them as “estates from hell” and that there are strong connections between these housing estates and crime, particularly youth offending.

In examining how the council estate has gone from being a source of national pride when they were “homes fit for heroes” returning home from the frontline in World War 1 and replacing bombed housing in World War 2, to what are often described as “ghettos” in the media, it is important to understand the considerable levels of stagmitisation of those residents within such estates, which in turn exasperates the problems that the residents might face. However, the issues that surround council estates are complex. There have always been references to “problem areas”, such as Whitechapel in the 1880s, and poverty appears to be a common denominator. As such, contemporary negative responses are a manifestation of historical processes.

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