Social Justice Perspectives on Education, Skills, and Economic Inequalities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This chapter discusses how social justice is related to education in the labor market. While seldom considered in literature on education for social justice, the role of education in developing skills raises challenging questions. On the one hand, many understandings of fairness would permit an individual who has undertaken advanced levels of education and economically value skills to receive a premium in her salary for these efforts; on the other hand, the economic inequality that arises from this premium can undermine a just society, particularly when access to higher levels of education is restricted to those who can afford it. In this chapter, we review fundamental conceptualizations of both social justice and skills in the labor market. We identify two key questions that a socially just approach to skills must address, concerning the access to and returns from advanced education. We argue that Sen’s concept of capabilities offers a way to balance these considerations without exclusively focusing on equality of inputs (access) or outcomes (returns). The chapter thereby contributes to a more thorough and conceptually rigorous understanding of how education can promote a socially just society.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Handbook on Promoting Social Justice in Education
EditorsRosemary Papa
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Pages1-15
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-74078-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Social justice
  • Skills
  • Education
  • Labour market
  • Fairness
  • Capability approach

Cite this

Shields, R., & Kameshwara, K. K. (2020). Social Justice Perspectives on Education, Skills, and Economic Inequalities. In R. Papa (Ed.), Handbook on Promoting Social Justice in Education (pp. 1-15). Cham: Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-74078-2_122-1