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Handbook of the Sociology of Morality / Edition 1

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Human beings necessarily understand their social worlds in moral terms, orienting their lives, relationships, and activities around socially produced notions of right and wrong.

Morality is sociologically understood as more than simply helping or harming others; it encompasses any way that individuals form understandings of what behaviors are better than others, what goals are most laudable, and what "proper" people believe, feel, and do. Morality involves the explicit and implicit sets of rules and shared understandings that keep human social groups intact. Morality includes both the "should" and "should nots" of human activity, its proactive and inhibitive elements.

At one time, sociologists were centrally concerned with morality, issues like social cohesion, values, the goals and norms that structure society, and the ways individuals get socialized to reproduce those concerns. In the last half-century, however, explicit interest in these topics has waned, and modern sociology has become uninterested in these matters and morality has become marginalized within the discipline.

But a resurgence in the topic is happening in related disciplines-psychology, neurology, philosophy, and anthropology-and in the wider national discourse. Sociology has much to offer, but is not fully engaged in this conversation. Many scholars work on areas that would fall under the umbrella of a sociology of morality but do not self-identify in such a manner, nor orient their efforts toward conceptualizing what we know, and should know, along these dimensions.

The Handbook of the Sociology of Morality fills a niche within sociology making explicit the shared concerns of scholars across the disciplines as they relate to an often-overlooked dimension of human social life. It is unique in social science as it would be the first systematic compilation of the wider social structural, cultural, cross-national, organizational, and interactional dimension of human moral (understood broadly) thought, feeling, and behavior.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Steve Hitlin received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is now Assistant Professor of sociology at the University of Iowa. His research interests include social psychology, self and identity, values, morality, social theory, life course studies and gender. His primary focus is on contributing to the sociology of morality, including building bridges between scholars and disciplines around this enterprise. In 2009, he received a grant from the National Science Foundation to host an interdisciplinary conference on the sociology of morality. His research focuses on various dimensions of the social shaping of individual moral orientations, as well as helping to establish the importance of moral dimensions for properly understanding social actors. His other research programs have looked at the development and social psychological nature of racial identities and attempts to empirically measure “human agency” to engage core sociological debates.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Return of the Moral Michèle Lamont v

Contributors ix

Part I Sociological Perspectives on Morality ("What Is It"") 1

Chapter 1 Back to the Future Steven Hitlin Stephen Vaisey 3

Chapter 2 The Cognitive Approach to Morality Raymond Boudon 15

Chapter 3 Four Concepts of Morality Christopher Powell 35

Chapter 4 Adumbrations of a Sociology of Morality in the Work of Parsons, Simmel, and Merton Donald N. Levine 57

Chapter 5 The (Im)morality of War Edward A. Tiryakian 73

Chapter 6 Social Order as Moral Order Anne Warfield Rawls 95

Part II Sociological Contexts ("Where Does It Come From"") 123

Chapter 7 Natural Selection and the Evolution of Morality in Human Societies Jonathan H. Turner 125

Chapter 8 The Sacred and the Profane in the Marketplace Frederick F. Wherry 147

Chapter 9 Class and Morality Andrew Sayer 163

Chapter 10 The Unstable Alliance of Law and Morality Carol A. Heimer 179

Chapter 11 Morality in Organizations Robert Jackall 203

Chapter 12 Explaining Crime as Moral Actions Per-Olof H. Wikström 211

Chapter 13 What Does God Require" Understanding Religious Context and Morality Christopher D. Bader Roger Finke 241

Chapter 14 The Duality of American Moral Culture Wayne Baker 255

Chapter 15 Education and the Culture Wars Jeffrey S. Dill James Davison Hunter 275

Chapter 16 The Creation and Establishment of Moral Vocabularies Brian M. Lowe 293

Part III Morality in Action ("How Does It Work"") 313

Chapter 17 The Trouble with Invisible Men Robb Willer Matthew Feinberg Kyle Irwin Michael Schultz Brent Simpson 315

Chapter 18 The Justice/Morality Link Karen A. Hegtvedt Heather L. Scheuerman 331

Chapter 19 Toward an Integrated Science of Morality Rengin Firat Chad Michael McPherson 361

Chapter 20 The Social Psychology of the Moral Identity Jan E. Stets 385

Chapter 21 Morality and Mind-Body Connections Gabriel Ignatow 411

Chapter 22 Moral Power Jal Mehta Christopher Winship 425

Chapter 23 Moral Dimensions of the Work-Family Nexus Mary Blair-Loy 439

Chapter 24 Moral Classification and Social Policy Brian Steensland 455

Chapter 25 The Moral Construction of Risk Leslie T. Roth 469

Chapter 26 Moral Discourse in Economic Contexts Rebekah P. Massengill Amy Reynolds 485

Chapter 27 Morality in the Social Interactional and Discursive World of Everyday Life Jason J. Turowetz Douglas W. Maynard 503

Part IV Future Directions for Sociological Science 527

Chapter 28 Morality, Modernity, and World Society Sabine Frerichs Richard Münch 529

Chapter 29 The Social Construction of Morality" Steven Lukes 549

Chapter 30 What's New and What's Old about the New Sociology of Morality Gabriel Abend 561

Subject Index 585

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