Fictional reality and the portrayal of justice in modern sociology and contemporary novels*

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Ralph G. O'Sullivan


*Originally printed in Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology 2006 34(2).

Social justice is a popular subject of discussion in sociology, politics, jurisprudence, as well as popular novels. The outcomes of its proceedings are equally curious because that which is "just" depends upon such variables as defining the direction that justice needs to take, allocating authority to enforce it, and public reaction to its consequences. This article represents a layered investigative journey into the portrayal of justice in nine popular series of novels because its fictional enactment represents the way that the population would like to see it enforced, but does not. Since the body of the material reviewed here are works of fiction which incorporate known data a new expression is offered. Fictional reality refers to the ways in which novelists weave fair knowledge about modern justice into stories which please their audiences, and this article explores the
means by which that melding occurs.

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