The meaning of social justice is elusive, not least reflecting the differing motivations and discourses of politicians and academics, and is relative to the society in question. Yet maybe it is possible to establish a benchmark of an ideal society and hence social justice. The role of inequalities in undermining social cohesion, inclusion and fairness is discussed. A vision for ‘inclusive equality’ is set out; of a mainstream society where diversity - of people, cultures, forms of contribution, and so on – is recognised, valued, and accommodated to the maximum extent possible, without jeopardizing social cohesion. The nature of contemporary society is then briefly reviewed in that context, focusing on the impact of globalization, and evidence of economic, political and social inequalities and disengagement. The approach and structure of the book is then described, moving from theory to implications for welfare policy and practice. Key theoretical themes include the nature and operation of society, engagement and connection and identity
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