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

Gary Blasi, John T. Jost

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIdeology, Psychology, and Law
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199918638
ISBN (Print)9780199737512
DOIs
StatePublished - May 24 2012

Keywords

  • Behavioral realism
  • Complementary stereotypes
  • Political ideology
  • Rational choice
  • System justification theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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