Academic journal article African Journal of Criminology and Justice Studies : AJCJS

Biko Agozino and Justice for All

Academic journal article African Journal of Criminology and Justice Studies : AJCJS

Biko Agozino and Justice for All

Article excerpt

Introduction - The Continuum of Justice and Ethics

...it's better in fact to be guilty of manslaughter than of fraud about what is fair and just. - Plato (1960: 160)

With everything we read there are two avenues available for understanding. While we explicitly read the manifest content, we also make use of our own personal experiences to interpret what is latently confided in it as well. For instance, in the above mentioned quotation, Plato's wisdom can enlighten us because of not only its concrete meaning, but also due to any inferences one is able to make. Clearly, Plato is arguing that fraudulent injustices are more harmful than the most disastrous of recklessness abandon. With that said, one may contend that Plato's message is twofold as he is also suggesting there exists a barometer for determining the fair and just life. His statement doubles as a guide for setting the bare minimum of ethical essentials. That is, to coexist harmoniously with the rest of society you must be true to the doctrine which directs your moral compass. This supposes then that at opposite ends of a spectrum of justice we have conflicting ideologies. At one end lie those whose ethical rigour is displaced in favour of glutinous pleasures. These individuals resort to their innate animalistic tendencies when confronted with a predicament demanding principled analysis. Conversely, counter to them are those who are of the highest moral aptitude. What differentiates these moral entrepreneurs from their run of the mill counterparts is their desire to excel. Not only do they satisfy the requirement of displaying fair and just behaviour, but imbedded within them is the impetus to acknowledge and mend the devastating effects of social injustice abroad.

It is by way of the aforementioned interpretative perspective, navigated via the 'continuum of justice and ethics' that the task at hand will be approached and undertaken. This paper is constructed with a heavy reliance on the emails received from liberation sociologist Biko Agozino. By depending on such a medium however the possibility exists of mistakenly misconstruing the content. Nevertheless, if one is to situate these efforts in the context of actively investigating and engaging with Prof. Agozino, then possibly this is not a project requiring the regurgitation of one's achievements, but instead it is a joint collaboration which attempts to deduce the more pressing questions at hand. What one takes away from reading someone's work, marveling over their accomplishments, or reflecting on previous conversations had, is undeniably uniquely theirs. All too often people become hung up on the variations of understanding believing that one's intended outcome, or someone else's take is omnipotent. Just as in life, it will be argued that constructive dialogue is what you make of it. Right and wrong are not discernable in this setting and do not necessarily even exist because knowledge of any kind is truly the end goal. Thus, regardless of any assumptions, hopefully I will be able to demonstrate the depth of learning Biko Agozino has provided me and in addition you, the reader, will be able to determine for yourself which end of the spectrum he belongs.

The Passionate Liberator

The basic premise behind liberation sociology is to empower and free the oppressed through research which moves the world towards democracy and social justice. By uncovering the solutions to the problems that besiege the oppressed, liberation sociology looks to make a tangible contribution to the formulation of more humane social arrangements. Countless critical thinkers support the action of human beings in their own liberation and call for greater democratic access to all social science knowledge (Feagin & Vera, 2008). Biko Agozino is but one of these moral entrepreneurs.

If I was to describe Biko Agozino using one word, that word would be passionate. Agozino exudes passion in every sense of the term with everything he says and does. …

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