CULTURAL AND STRUCTURAL DETERMINANTS OF JUSTICE REACTIONS IN THE ECONOMIC DOMAIN

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Abstract:

We examine cultural and structural perspectives on the determination of distributive justice reactions to economic inequality. The cultural perspective emphasizes consensus and shared norms of justice acquired through uniform socialization processes. The structural perspective emphasizes variance rather than consensus; it highlights the instrumental use of justice norms to service position-based self-interest. We evaluate the two perspectives using 1980 Detroit Area Study data. Although we find strongest support for the structural perspective, we are unable to reject the cultural point of view entirely. We conclude that social position is a critical correlate of economic justice reactions, but we also argue that culture and structure, though analytically distinct, function intricately and jointly to determine justice reactions.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1994.22.4.319

Publication date: January 1, 1994

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