CHAPTER TWO

JUSTICE AND CONFLICT

Morton Deutsch

That’s not fair” expresses a feeling that frequently leads to conflict. A younger brother cries out that his older brother is getting “a bigger piece of cake than I am.” An applicant for a job feels that the selection procedures are biased against members of her race, gender, or ethnic group. A politician thinks the election was lost because his opponent stuffed the ballot boxes. A wife feels that her husband doesn’t help sufficiently with the household chores. These all involve issues of justice, which may give rise to conflict. Conflict can lead to changes that reduce injustice, or it can increase injustice if it takes a destructive form, as in war.

It is useful to make a distinction between injustice ...

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