Applied Psychology OPUS

Lenses of Justice: Demographic, Cultural, Ideological, Socioemotional Factors & Distributive Justice

Caila Gordon-Koster

The act of giving can be complicated; from the question faced by charitable organizations about how and to whom to distribute food, to the question among kindergarteners of how and with whom to share crayons, all types of communities struggle with determining what it means to share and distribute resources fairly. Differing views on the appropriate allocation of resources and responsibility, a phenomenon referred to as “distributive justice,” is at the heart of this question about with whom, and under what conditions, we should give. Distributive justice is the evaluative process that determines how to allocate resources and responsibility (Lamont, 2008). While current research on distributive justice has explored peoples’ views of fair and just distribution of critical resources, scholars have largely overlooked the factors that are associated with or predictive of these views. Further, extant research on distributive justice has failed to include African Americans. The proposed study (a secondary analysis of data drawn from the African American College Study) addresses these gaps in the current research by investigating the extent to which demographic, cultural, socioemotional and ideological factors are associated with distributive justice in African Americans.