How can we attain a more just world? I present an approach that integrates changes at the institutional, collective, and personal levels based on a feminist vision corresponding to Iris Marion Young’s ideal of justice. Young (1990; 1989) extends the traditional distributional justice paradigm through a central idea: People are in relation to each other. These interrelationships also form the foundation of her theory of global justice (2006). I incorporate these facets into a picture of social justice that allows us to evaluate local and global contexts. I identify four elements that ensure social justice. Culled from the work of several philosophers, I include tools that can help us incorporate these elements into our communities – at the institutional and collective levels – to reach Young’s ideal thus counteracting our current unjust realities, which I sketch briefly. Transformation happens only if we combine the elements synthesized from philosophers’ work, which address systemic changes, with their application in our personal lives. There is evidence that the status quo is deeply embedded in our social selves often manifested through stereotypes. While reshaping interactions seems to imply changes on the personal level, none of the philosophers call for them outright. Thus, I outline some ways of applying the philosophical tools presented to our lives to achieve individual transformation.
Many political philosophers envision a more just society. They are often criticized for failing to provide a roadmap of how to get from our current reality to their envisioned future (Young 1995). Richard Wasserstrom (1977) suggests arguments for change in society require three perspectives: Current social realities, a normative vision, and means for achieving this vision. I follow his approach in this paper to allow us to get from “here to there” (Young 1995, 234).