large three-storied house flanked by two smaller houses with clouds in the background

Twenty Years at Hull-House

by Jane Addams
Start Free Trial

Based on Twenty Years at Hull House, how can social justice be summarized?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I think that Jane Addams would define social justice as a realm in which government and society have to look out for all members of society.  Addams sees social justice as something in which the idea of ensuring that the general welfare is served means that all members of a social order are assisted and protected.  It is for this reason that Addams gives voice to women and children, people that she believes have been silenced in the midst of industrial progress and economic wealth.  Addams believes in a conception of social justice that embraces and authenticates as many voices as possible, something that is demonstrated by her opposition to child labor and advocacy for women's rights.  Addams believes that social justice cannot be constructed by those in the position of power simply for those in the position of power.  Rather, she feels that social justice is "social" in nature and something that must arise out of a public sense of advocacy in which people are able to hear and understand why others feel pain and seek to do something in order to alleviate it.  In this, Addams' conception of social justice is best realized and most lucidly understood.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team