Forms of Capital and Questions of Social Justice
Kersten Reich focuses on the changing forms of capital and capitalism as contexts in which the question of social justice takes on a new meaning today. Reich observes that Dewey already used the concept “capital” in his reflections on culture. Dewey anticipated contemporary debates about human or social capital in that he already conceived of “capital” as a comprehensive concept with broad applications. He believed that democratic society should make capitals of diverse sorts accessible as social resources to individuals through education. This is an indispensable claim of social justice in Dewey's time as well as in ours. Reich takes over this fundamental insight and expands it in perspective on the societies of today. He introduces core elements of his own theory of forms of capital, namely the distinction between economic, social, cultural, learning, and body capitals. Regarding each of these forms, he explores key ways of production of surplus value as well as possibilities of intervention in favor of a democratic regulation of capitalism.