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ERIC Number: ED183710
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1977
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
"If You Seek Justice, Put a Gift on the Scale": Concepts of Justice in White Ethnic American Literature.
Chapin, Helen Geracimos
This paper analyzes non-Anglo views of the concept of justice; these views are different from those of the dominant Anglo-American tradition and therefore make up one of the components of ethnicity. The author examines justice as a concept in the literature of three contemporary American authors, the Italian American Pietro Di Donato, Nelson Algren (whose descendents were Swedes and German Jews), and the Greek American Harry Mark Petrakis. Two categories of justice are discussed: (1) divine justice, the exercise of authority by God which implies a constant and universal moral law; (2) human justice which is either formal (codified in law) or informal (meted out by families, neighbors, and groups). It is found that these writers' views of justice are different from those of the larger American society in the following ways: (1) self-definition is attained through relationships with others rather than through lonely self-assertion; (2) informal justice, by emphasizing relationships with others and responsibilities to them, is possible and desirable; (3) formal justice fails as a means of attaining equity and fairness; (4) divine justice is often inscrutable but there is a constant moral law by which one tries to live. (Author/BE)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A