Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (4):869-885 (2018)

Authors
Robin Zheng
Yale-NUS College
Abstract
What responsibility do individuals bear for structural injustice? Iris Marion Young has offered the most fully developed account to date, the Social Connections Model. She argues that we all bear responsibility because we each causally contribute to structural processes that produce injustice. My aim in this article is to motivate and defend an alternative account that improves on Young’s model by addressing five fundamental challenges faced by any such theory. The core idea of what I call the “Role-Ideal Model” is that we are each responsible for structural injustice through and in virtue of our social roles, i.e. our roles as parents, colleagues, employers, citizens, etc., because roles are the site where structure meets agency. In short, the Role-Ideal Model explains how individual action contributes to structural change, justifies demands for action from each particular agent, specifies what kinds of acts should be undertaken, moderates between demanding too much and too little of individual agents, and provides an account of the critical responses appropriate for holding individuals accountable for structural injustice.
Keywords moral responsibility  structural injustice  social roles  social change
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-018-9892-8
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References found in this work BETA

Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Oxford University Press USA.
Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
Responsibility for Justice.Iris Marion Young - 2011 - Oxford University Press USA.

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Citations of this work BETA

What is White Ignorance?Annette Martín - forthcoming - The Philosophical Quarterly.

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