Irina Trotsuk 1, 2
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation
  • 2 Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, 6 Miklukho-Maklaya Street, Moscow, 117198, Russia

Justice in Sociological Discourse: Semantic, Empirical, Historical, and Conceptual Challenges

2019, vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 218–249 [issue contents]
One of the key features of social sciences and humanities distinguishing them from technical and natural sciences are the frequent intersections of their terminology with everyday discourse. Some social concepts have completely different interpretations in sociological discourse and everyday life, with the words “field” and “panel” as good examples. However, the majority of similar concepts of everyday life and sociological research have quite the same content. The word “justice” and its derivatives stand out in this set of terms, for hardly any other concept in human history is saturated with political connotations, or requires little additional explanation when used in social-economic debates or military conflicts. As a result, the word “justice” is widely used in all “life-worlds” (i.e., according to A. Schütz, justice seems to be both a ‘first-order construct’ and a ‘second-order construct’), which complicates its unambiguous conceptual and empirical interpretations in sociological research. The article was supposed to be a review of two books, A History of Justice: From the Pluralism of Forums to the Modern Dualism of Conscience and Law by P. Prodi, and The Idea of Justice by A. Sen, providing a clearer conceptual definition of justice. However, it turned into reflections with some theoretical and empirical examples on why such searches in sociology are important and inevitable, but are unlikely to end with a satisfying result. This does not make such searches meaningless, but rather utopian in nature, and essential for the self-identification of the discipline through the questioning of its own conceptual foundations.
Citation: Trotsuk I. (2019) Spravedlivost' v sotsiologicheskom diskurse: semanticheskie, empiricheskie, istoricheskie i kontseptual'nye poiski [Justice in Sociological Discourse: Semantic, Empirical, Historical, and Conceptual Challenges]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 18, no 1, pp. 218-249 (in Russian)
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