Abstract
Jacobson finds two distinct meanings of “dignity” in the literature on dignity and health: intrinsic human dignity and social dignity constituted through interactions with caregivers. Especially the latter has been central in empirical health research and warrants further exploration. This article focuses on the social dignity of people marginalized by mental illness, substance abuse and comparable conditions in extramural settings. 35 studies published between 2007 and 2017 have addressed this issue, most of them identifying norms for social dignity: civilized interactions, non-stigmatizing treatment, treatment as unique individuals, being taken seriously, maintaining a positive identity, experiencing independence, relating to others, and participating in daily life. We argue that these norms belong to ideal theory, whereas we agree with Robeyns and others that improving practice is better served by non-ideal theory. Towards this end, we derive from the literature four building blocks for a non-ideal theory of dignity: avoid violations of dignity rather than seeking to promote it; dignity is not a goal to be reached; it requires ongoing effort; promoting dignity is a balancing act; contradictory norms can make it impossible to realize; and dignity can be undermined by organizational and discursive constraints.
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DOI 10.1007/s11019-020-09987-8
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References found in this work BETA

Ideal Vs. Non‐Ideal Theory: A Conceptual Map.Laura Valentini - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (9):654-664.
Ideal Theory in Theory and Practice.Ingrid Robeyns - 2008 - Social Theory and Practice 34 (3):341-362.
The Varieties of Dignity.Lennart Nordenfelt - 2004 - Health Care Analysis 12 (2):69-81.
The Decent Society.Avishai Margalit - 1997 - Ethics 107 (4):729-731.
The Decent Society.Avishai Margalit & Naomi Goldblum - 2001 - Mind 110 (437):229-232.

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