Justice in “The Crunch”

  • Morton Deutsch
Part of the Critical Issues in Social Justice book series (CISJ)


Tallulah Bankhead is reported to have said “I’ve been poor and I’ve been rich and, believe me, rich is better.” Most of us would agree with Tallulah. Nevertheless, many individuals, groups, and societies during the course of their existence face the necessity of coping with an economic “crunch,” that is, with a diminution of their resources. Often, they cope badly and feel a loss in their self-esteem, their unity, and their sense of purpose as well as in their standard of living. However, it is not always the case that economic loss makes one poorer psychologically and socially. Thus, it is reasonable to ask: What conditions lead to the stimulation of latent paranoia, to the emergence of suspicious relations with others, to the breakdown of civility, to the decrease of individual and group morale, and to individual and social disruption in the face of an “economic crunch”? What conditions foster the effective mobilization of self and community to deal with adversity? These are the basic questions to which this paper is addressed.


Distributive Justice Causal Attribution Local Unit Competitive Process Cooperative Process 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Morton Deutsch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Teachers CollegeColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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