A formalization of theory of relative deprivation with justice index

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This paper attempts to formalize the classic theory of a relative deprivation (Stouffer et al. 1949; Merton 1957) by making a theoretical linkage between the justice index (Jasso 1980, 1999) and a model of relative deprivation (Boudon 1982; Kosaka 1986). Our new simple model refers to a mechanism of the determining process of the subjective just reward in which Jasso's arguments were lacking, and specifies the theoretical nature of the justice index by newly defining just reward as an expectation. This enables us to analyze simultaneously two different kinds of concepts, the rate of a relative deprivation and the degree of a relative deprivation. Although the relation between the proportion of a group who feel a relative deprivation and the intensity with which it is felt is not clear in the classic theory, we succeed in revealing the relation by a mathematical model. Furthermore, we specify the property of every justice evaluation function that satisfies the Jasso's condition in a model of relative deprivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-69
Number of pages17
JournalSociological Theory and Methods
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Expected just reward
  • Justice index
  • Relative deprivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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