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The injustice of unequal work

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Abstract:

Economic justice is not just about what people get in terms of resources but what they are allowed or expected to contribute through their work, for this has a huge effect on opportunities for self-development, satisfaction and self-esteem. Capitalist societies have unequal divisions of labour, in which good quality work is concentrated into just a subset of jobs, thereby making meaningful work unattainable for large numbers. The article assesses the damage done by this major structural cause of class inequalities, and argues that the common justifications for the unequal division of labour (in terms of efficiency, cost, feasibility and differences in intelligence) are weak.

Keywords: CONTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE; DIVISION OF LABOUR; INEQUALITY; WORK SATISFACTION

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3898/136266209790424658

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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