Chapter

System Justification Theory and Research: Implications for Law, Legal Advocacy, and Social Justice

Gary Blasi and John T. Jost

in Ideology, Psychology, and Law

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199737512
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918638 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199737512.003.0003

Series: Series in Political Psychology

System Justification Theory and Research: Implications for Law, Legal Advocacy, and Social Justice

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This chapter reviews theory and research on System Justification Theory (SJT) and summarizes key implications for law, lawyers, and social justice advocacy. According to SJT, lawyers should attend to all relevant social orders and implicit as well as explicit biases in selecting jurors and developing advocacy strategies. The theory identifies important obstacles to social change, including changes in the law and legal scholarship. This chapter highlights some of the ways in which system justification motives result in behaviors that are unanticipated by current models of legal thinking. It discusses the persuasive power of “reframing,” whereby advocates can deploy narrative to exacerbate or diminish the system-justifying motives of legal and public policy decision-makers.

Keywords: political ideology; complementary stereotypes; system justification theory; rational choice; behavioral realism

Chapter.  21477 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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