Racism and Social Justice

  • Robbie W. C. Tourse
  • Johnnie Hamilton-Mason
  • Nancy J. Wewiorski


Social justice is an ideal condition in which all members of a society have the same basic rights, protections, opportunities, obligations, and social benefits. Racism, in essence, is the lack of “fair” treatment of racial groups designated as “other” in the society. Consequently, when racism becomes institutionalized in a society, social justice is compromised. This chapter examines the connection between racism and social justice. Human rights is discussed as the overarching principle for social justice, and social justice is defined. Social justice and injustice with respect to race and the processes by which they are achieved are considered through examples of inequality in three types of justice: distributive, procedural, and interactional. Race also is discussed as an important factor in the extent to which immigrants experience social injustice. The chapter further explores issues of social justice for the core groups and recent immigrants through examples. An intersectional analysis is applied to understand the ways in which gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, and ethnicity intersect and how racial scaffolding influences their intersection.


Social justice Distributive justice Procedural justice Interactional justice Immigrants Intersectionality Racism 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robbie W. C. Tourse
    • 1
  • Johnnie Hamilton-Mason
    • 2
  • Nancy J. Wewiorski
    • 3
  1. 1.Boston College School of Social WorkChestnut HillUSA
  2. 2.Simmons College School of Social WorkBostonUSA
  3. 3.U.S. Department of Veterans AffairsBostonUSA

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