of the simulation heuristic ( Kahneman & Tversky, 1982). The resulting conceptualization not only permits reinterpretation of inconsistent results of previous research on relative deprivation but also demonstrates the promise of recent work in social cognition for the understanding of social justice phenomena.
The last two chapters are very different from the earlier chapters and from each other in their perspectives on social comparison and social justice. Graziano examines the kinds of conceptual analyses that have dominated much theory and research in social development. Using work on the development of social justice as an illustration, he finds the typical social cognitive development approach wanting. He points out that structural cognitive approaches ignore the influence of context-dependent experiences on behavior related to social justice and argues for an approach that takes context in all of its manifestations seriously. Cook and Curtin, on the other hand, examine the policy-related issue of how the general public perceives the underclass in the United States, which is clearly an issue of social justice, by applying concepts from social comparison.
The coherence of these varied contributions stems from their common relevance for the analysis of social justice phenomena. Some important areas of thought related to social justice have been omitted, such as procedural justice (although Folger's contribution does incorporate concepts from this area) and work on the specific roles of sex and ethnicity in social justice behavior (e.g., Major, McFarlin, & Gaynor, 1984).
The present volume brings together the perspectives of one set of scholars interested in theory and research on the topics of social comparison, social justice, and relative deprivation from the perspective of adult behavior and development. The goal is to foster, through illustration and exhortation, continued research and theory development in this important sector of the boundary between social and developmental psychology and to alert the reader to the larger boundary between this domain of psychology and social issues in contemporary society.
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