Injustice and School Closure

Abstract:

School closure is a recent, hotly contested instantiation of school reform. Public disputes about school closure also reflect fundamental disagreement about the nature of justice. I draw on Nancy Fraser’s notion of “abnormal justice”—in short, the sense that modern justice discourse lacks a common grammar—to clarify the content of closure disputes in three ways. First, I explain why and how opposing claims about school closure rest on very different notions of what justice is and what justice requires. Second, I describe the normative force of such claims through three distinct forms of injustice: maldistribution, misrecognition, and misrepresentation. Third, I argue that notion of abnormal justice shifts our theoretical imagination to the identification and analysis of the relationships among the different forms of injustice implicated in instances of school closure.