Social justice and geography: towards a South African geographical research agenda

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    English: Drawing on arguments seeking a grounded development of the concept of social justice, this article investigates the potential bearing of the concept on South African geographical research. It is argued that it is philosophically desirable to conduct empirical research focused on the interpretations which agents give to the concept of social justice. It is then suggested that a re-thinking of the debates on normative social justice in the light of arguments for contextual interpretations of this concept provide a framework for a discourse of social justice within South African geographical studies. In particular, three avenues of enquiry are suggested. First, that South African geographers aim at uncovering what the concept of social justice represents with reference to multiple variables and institutions within various spatio-temporal settings. Secondly, that these empirical descriptions of social justice can be compared with various debates on social justice currently found in the social sciences. Finally, that geographical theorisation of the concept of social justice be developed with reference to empirical illustrations of the meaning of the concept.