chapter  7
19 Pages

Empathic Thought and the Politics of Rights

Few, if any, socletIes are free of the problem of institutionalized social exclusion based on group membership. By fastening on group differences and magnifying their negative social and economic consequences, societies commit grievous injustices and snare themselves in the double bind of the dilemma of difference (see Chapter 1, Section 1). If they belatedly extend equal rights to members of these groups but ignore difference, existing social and economic divisions often persist. Yet, if they focus on difference and create programs to meet the distinctive needs of members of these groups, members of the dominant group resent this special treatment and resist social change. Again, justice is indefinitely postponed.