Morality as a Cultural System: On Solidarity Civil and Uncivil

  • Jeffrey C. Alexander


Solidarity is a central dimension of social order and social conflict, yet it has largely been absent from influential theories of modern society. Most of the big thinkers, classical, modern, and contemporary, have conceived prototypically modern relationships as either vertical or atomized. Modernization is thought to have smashed affectual and moral fellow-feeling: because of commodification and capitalist hierarchy (Marx 1978; 2004), because of bureaucracy and individualistic asceticism (Weber 1947; 2002), because of the growing abstraction and impersonality of the collective consciousness that allows egoism and anomie (Durkheim 1984; 2002). Postmodernity is typically seen as liquefying social ties and intensifying narcissistic individualism (Bauman 2000); or as creating new forms of verticality, for example, the disciplinary cage (Foucault 1977).


Interracial Marriage Radical Social Movement Social Ritual Civil Sphere Contemporary Social Theory 
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© Vincent Jeffries 2014

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  • Jeffrey C. Alexander

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