chapter  2
13 Pages

Principles of social justice for sport and leisure

ByPaul Wetherly, Beccy Watson, Jonathan Long

This chapter explores some of the key currents in political thought on social justice as a contested concept and, relates those to sport and leisure contexts. It considers the issues that require choices like those arising from alternative conceptions of fairness. Miller's characterisation of 'equal citizenship' is on the same lines as Rawls' liberty principle, though Miller also includes 'social rights'. The principle of equality of opportunity, particularly in its formal sense, prohibits discrimination on the basis of 'irrelevant' features such as gender, class or ethnicity so that selection is based only on 'merit', meaning the relevant criteria of candidates' motivation and aptitudes. Determining a fair distribution involves choosing between rival principles: 'sufficiency', 'priority to the worst-off' and 'equality'. If sport and leisure are to play a part in reducing marginalisation and promoting social inclusion the principles of social justice need to be confronted.