In the Name of Morality

Part of the Clinical Sociology: Research and Practice book series (CSRP)


“Why would you want to write about that? Everybody knows that stuff.” Such was my mother’s response when I told her that I had embarked on a book about morality. From her perspective, the subject was transparent. There was simply nothing that could be said that was not already common knowledge. Some years later I had a conversation with Alan Wolfe, the distinguished social critic, during which he casually remarked that many of his colleagues were puzzled when he first broached the idea of conducting a study of middle-class values. Why, they wondered, would he want to do that? Wasn’t his time too valuable to squander on such well trod territory? He went ahead nonetheless because, as he explained, he decided that it was the right thing to do.


Moral Rule Fairy Tale Drunk Driving Soviet Academy Grave Image 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    Fulghum, R. (1988). All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things. New York: Villard Books.Google Scholar
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    The classical statement of the socially constructed nature of moral (and religious) rules is provided by: Durkheim, E. (1915). The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. New York: The Free Press. Also see: Durkheim, E. (1961). Moral Education. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Perhaps the most influential recent champion of moral knowledge was: Moore, G. E. (1929). Principia Ethica. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Broader in influence and earlier in time was: Kant, 1. (1949). Critique of Practical Reason. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
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    For the clearest formulation of this concept see: Wilson, J. Q. (1993). The Moral Sense. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
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    Currently sliding from favor, but the strongest formulation of a moral judgment perspective was: Kohlberg. (1986). The Stages of Ethical Development. New York: Harper & Row. See also: Thomas, R. M. (1997). Moral Development Theories—Secular and Religious. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press: and Windmiller, M., Lambert, N. & Turiel, E., (Eds.) (1980). Moral Development and Socialization. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
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    For a general history of the movelemt consult: Martin, E. J. (1978). A History of the Iconoclastic Controversy. New York: AMS Press.Google Scholar
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    An extreme form of protestant iconoclasm is found among the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are so adamant that they refused to salute the American flag on the theory that it was a graven image. It took a ruling of the Supreme Court to grant them this right. See: Kors, A. C. & Silverglate, H. A. (1998). The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on America’s Campuses. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
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    For a psychological analysis see: Lewis, M. & Saarni, C. (Eds.) (1993). Lying and Deception in Everyday Life. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
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    For a history see: Gump, J. O. (1994). The Dust Rose Like Smoke: The Subjugation of the Zulu and the Sioux. Lincoln: The University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar
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    A good biography is available in: Lomask, M. (1982). Aaron Burr: The Conspiracy and Years of Exile 1805–1836. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux.Google Scholar
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    A charming satirical prespective on vegitarianism is included in: Ellenbogen, G. (Ed.) (1986). Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality. New York: Brunner/Mazel.Google Scholar
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    For an introduction to Kevorkian’s philosophy see: Betzold, M. (1993). Appointment with Dr. Death. Troy, Mich: Momentum Books.Google Scholar
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    See: Wright, A. (1964). Confucianism and Chinese Civilization. New York: Atheneum.Google Scholar
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    Gertrude Himmelfarb makes a similar point, contrasting Greek, Christian, and Victorian virtues. She also presents a nice thumbnail sketch of the evolution of moral thinking from “virtues” to “values.” See: Himmelfarb, G. (1995). The De-Moralization of Society: From Victorian Virtues to Modem Values. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.Google Scholar
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    Franklin, B. (1950). The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. New York: Modern Library.Google Scholar
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    Bennett, W. J. (Ed.) (1993). The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Greer, C. & Kohl, H. (1995). A Call to Character. New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Included in: op cit.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Included in: Ibid.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    For the government’s own assessment of this phenomenon and its need for protection see: U.S. General Accounting Office (1993). Whistleblower Protection. Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Included in: Kohl, H. (1995) A Call to Character. New York: HarperCollins op cit.Google Scholar
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    For a sociological analysis of the functions of anger see: Fein, M. (1993). I.A.M.: A Common Sense Guide to Coping with Anger. Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
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    Lyman, S. M. (1989). The Seven Deadly Sins: Society and Evil. Dix Hills, NY: General Hall.Google Scholar
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    The groundbreaking analysis of science as a social process is: Kuhn, T. S. (1970). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd Edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
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    Among the exposes of sciences nonscientific ways are: Dewdney, A. K. (1997). Yes, We Have No Neutrons: An Eye-Opening Tour through the Twists and Turns of Bad Science. New York: John Wiley & Sons; Gable, J. & Sica, A. (Eds.) (1998). Ideologies and the Corruption of Thought. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction; Hamilton, R. F. (1996). The Social Misconstruction of Reality: Validity and Verification in the Scholarly Community. New Haven: Yale University Press; and Cromer, A. (1997). Connected Knowledge: Science, Philosophy, and Education. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
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    For a history see: Payne, R. (1965). The Rise and Fall of Stalin. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
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    Boas, F. (1928). Anthropology and Modern Life. New York: Dover.Google Scholar
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    A fascinating discussion of a variety of social practices is found in: Harris, M. (1974). Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
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    The standard formulation of ethical relativism is by: Westermarck, E. (1960). Ethical Relativity. Paterson, NJ: Littlefield, Adams.Google Scholar
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    Second only in importance as a disciple of Boas was: Benedict, R. (1934). Patterns of Culture. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Mead, M. (1928). Coming of Age in Samoa. New York: William Morrow.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    In his day Watson was the nation’s psychological guru. See: Buckley, K. W. (1989). Mechanical Man: John Broadus Watson and the Beginnings of Behaviorism. New York: The Guilford Press. Among his most influential advice books was: Watson, J. B. (1928). Psychological Care of Infant and Child. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Discussed later in Chapter 4, Russell was very much part of the same movement as Mead. See: Russell, B. (1929). Marriage and Morals. New York: H. Liveright.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Freeman, D. (1996). Margaret Mead and the Heretic: The Making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Myth. New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Science keeps churning up moralized theories of how the world works. Among the more influential recent myths is that of self-esteem. It was supposed to be a sovereign cure for most of society’s ills. See: Hewitt, J. P. (1998). The Myth of Self-Esteem: Finding Happiness and Solving Problems in America. New York: St. Martin’s Press. Even more recent has been the exposure of Rigoberta Menchu. The recipient of a Nobel Prize in literature, she became an icon for politically correct academics until her story of being a poor Central American peasant was revealed as a fraud. See: Stoll, D. (1998). Rigoberta Menchu and the Story of All Poor Guatemalans. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Menchu, R. 1984. 1 Rigoberta Menchu, an Indian Woman in Guatemala. Translated by Ann Wright. London Verso. Even the classic account of multiple personalities has been shown to have been grossly misleading. See: Schreiber, F. R. (1973). Sybil. Chicago: Regnery; Miller, M. & Kantrowitz. (1999). Unmasking Sybil. Newsweek, Jan. 25, pp.66–68.Google Scholar

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© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 1999

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