But Some Groups Are More Equal Than Others: A Critical Review of the Group-Criterion of Discrimination

Frej Klem Thomsen

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In this article I critically examine a standard feature in conceptions of discrimination: the group-criterion, specifically the idea that there is a limited and definablegroup of traits that can form the basis of discrimination. I review two types of argument for the criterion. One focuses on inherently relevant groups and relies ultimately on luck-egalitarian principles; the other focuses on contextually relevant groups and relies ultimately on the badness of outcomes. I conclude that as neither type of argument is convincing, the criterion is morally arbitrary, and as such untenable. Finally, I suggest both some of the conceptual and some of the practical implications of abandoning the criterion.
TidsskriftSocial Theory and Practice
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)120-146
StatusUdgivet - 2013


  • principles
  • focus groups
  • discrimination
  • Political theory

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