Justice, Difference, and the Capability to Function
Promoting occupational justice is a complex endeavor riddled with potential pitfalls. To avoid causing unintentional harm and articulate their relevance to collaborators, it is important for occupational scientists to continuously deepen their philosophical understandings of occupational justice. This paper explores challenges inherent to occupational justice work and encourages nuanced theoretical conceptualizations that encompass multiple worldviews and morals, which engender different notions of health, justice, and how to affect them. Those who intervene must critique their own worldview, to avoid imposing their ways of being onto others. The heterogeneity of groups and interconnectivity of humans complicates justice work. The risk of causing injustice in one area when promoting justice in another is heightened by the fact that situations of injustice are complex manifestations of local and global forces operating through social, cultural, political, economic and historical institutions. To mitigate challenges and deepen the discipline's philosophical understanding of justice, this paper presents Sen's (1979) capabilities approach to social justice as an appropriate philosophical base for the conceptualization of occupational justice. The paper concludes with a discussion of the pursuit of justice through education and politicizing everyday occupation and professional practice.
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