Not Fair! The Typology of Commonsense Unfairness

Pages: 335
Item #: 431656A
ISBN: 978-1-55798-752-5
List Price: $39.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $34.95
Copyright: 2001
Format: Hardcover
Note: This book is out of print and no longer available for purchase.

Unfairness is a concept so familiar to us that even young children understand it well. In Not Fair! The Typology of Commonsense Unfairness, Norman Finkel discusses how claims of unfair treatment not only inform our judicial system, but are also implicit in media news reports and our everyday conversations. Yet, despite our familiarity with the term, we may often confuse "fairness" with "justice," and be clearer about what is "unfair" than what is "fair."

In an effort to better understand the nature and manifestations of unfairness, Norman Finkel has analyzed a wide assortment of "unfairness narratives" volunteered by both American and international study participants. By deconstructing these stories and finding their deeper meanings, he has been able to create a typology of basic unfairness categories. The stories also shed light on the extent to which our perceptions of unfair treatment seem to be justified by the facts.

Not Fair! The Typology of Commonsense Unfairness discusses unfairness in a broad historical, religious, legal, and psychological context and shows how age, gender, and culture are likely to play a part in how we perceive it. Finkel's in-depth analysis will be of interest to a wide academic audience that includes psychologists, social scientists, legal scholars, educated laypersons interested in the topic for professional or personal reasons.

Table of Contents


I. Situating Unfairness Within The Psyche, Ancient Cries, And A Just World

  1. Introduction: The Cries, and the Critics, of Unfairness
  2. When the Just World Meets Job's World
  3. Separating "Fair" From "Just," and "Unfair" From "Fair"

II. Taking The Dimensions Of Unfairness

  1. What Are the Types of Unfairness? Toward a Categorization Schema
  2. Who or What Do We Blame for Unfairnesses?
  3. Severity, Blame, and Type of Unfairness: Do We Find Consistency or Neuroticism?
  4. Victims of Unfairness: A Narcissistic or Empathic Story?
  5. Do We Ever Get Over Unfairnesses?

III. Trying To Pin Down The Variance Of Unfairness

  1. What's in a Name?: Unfairness Versus Misfortune Versus Injustice
  2. Objecting to Punishments, Sustaining Process
  3. When the Victim Is Flawed or Bears Fault
  4. Fundamental Beliefs About Fairness, Life, and God

IV. Searching For Universals In A Multicultural World

  1. Unfairness Across Lands and Beneath Cultures
  2. Fukohei: Commonsense Unfairness in Japan
  3. No se justo! Commonsense Unfairness in Spain

V. Consistencies, Contradictions, Conundrums, And Common Sense

  1. Rectifying, Nullifying, and Softening Unfairnesses: To Err Is Human
  2. Toward a Fair Reading of Commonsense Unfairness and Fairness

Author Index

Subject Index

About the Author