What people mean by the term social justice may vary depending on the social psychology of individuals. Moreover, the ideological apparatus of a society can, to a great extent, determine the parameters that define what social justice means to the majority of members of that society. To be sure, people are strongly affected by their assessments of what is just or fair in their dealings with others.
One can ask, What does a person mean by justice and how it influences his or her thoughts, feelings, and behaviors? Throughout history, writings of philosophers, theologians, and social theorists as diverse as Aristotle, Derrida, Kant, Marx, Morin, Plato, and Rawls have been shaped by efforts to define how individuals, groups, and societies ought to behave. Although diverse in many respects, all of these efforts have in common the argument that both people and societies should be governed by standards of conduct beyond simple deference to the possession of power and resources.In the final analysis, it is vital that people not only be treated fairly but also know that they are treated fairly.