Date Thesis Awarded

4-2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

Philosophy

Advisor

Maria Victoria Costa

Committee Members

Maria Victoria Costa

Noah Lemos

Amy Quark

Abstract

In our globalized world, there are many cases of injustices happening due to the capitalistic economic system and the laws and norms that support it. One of the most common cases of these types of injustices is the harms to factory workers caused by sweatshop labor conditions. Although companies and factory managers must bear some responsibility for improving the labor conditions, the harms to factory workers caused by sweatshops are injustices resulting from the structure of international society where all consumers, a factory manager, its owner, and a CEO of the global apparel firm are interconnected by the international economy. Iris Young calls this type of injustice “structural injustice” and argues that all interconnected participants are responsible for it. Therefore, many more people who might not be liable for the injustice must also bear individual responsibility for contributing to the elimination of structural injustice. In this thesis, I will try to analyze why people should care about such structural injustice and how they can discharge their individual responsibilities for solving structural injustice. In chapter 1, I discuss why the structure of society is the main subject of justice. In chapter 2, I introduce some advantages and disadvantages of existing models assigning individual responsibility for rectifying structural injustice. In chapter 3, I introduce sweatshops as a case of structural injustice. In chapter 4, I propose and defend my model, the Global Citizens Model (GCM), that explains how to assign responsibility in relation to structural injustice.

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