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date: 23 October 2018

Abstract and Keywords

Informed by Social Representations and Social Identity theories, this chapter argues that investigation of justice issues in multicultural Europe requires focusing on the ideological context in which justice is pursued or obstructed. Following Touraine (2005), it argues that two social representations of societal organization coexist in Europe with different implications for status, values, and justice attribution: one that organizes society and builds hierarchies in terms of merit; and another that organizes society according to cultural differences and to group membership. The use of each representation implies different criteria for distributive and procedural justice and emphasizes conflicts based on different memberships. A representation of society following a cultural order might hide the class membership of migrants and obstruct their individual mobility. Unable to fight in terms of class, migrants’ sole opportunity for seeking justice and equal treatment is to fight collectively by adopting an ethno-cultural or religious identity.

Keywords: multiculturalism, migration, distributive and procedural justice, European nation-states, representations of social order, individual mobility, identity

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