The Social Construction of Morality?

  • Steven Lukes
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


This chapter is evidence that we seem to be witnessing the re-birth of what is being labeled “the sociology of morality.” Why this re-birth should occur at all and why it is occurring just now are interesting questions into which I shall not enter here. Doubtless, it is due in part to the now flourishing studies of morality among both humans and animals by psychologists and biologists and in part to dissatisfaction among some philosophers with exclusively conceptual and analytical reasoning and among some economists with model building and abstract theorizing that fail to address the complexities of what motivates economic behavior. Cultural anthropologists have also entered this increasingly lively scene, sometimes (an old story) at the behest of philosophers in search of exotic examples but increasingly as contributors to an ever-more lively series of cross-disciplinary debates. Until now, however, it is a scene from which sociologists have been largely absent; and why that is so is another interesting question. Perhaps, this chapter will herald the entry of the sociologists.


Moral Judgment Moral Philosopher Objective Attitude Reactive Attitude Moral Virtue 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Lukes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of sociologyNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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