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Emotions, body and self: critiquing moral decline sociology


Hookway, N, Emotions, body and self: critiquing moral decline sociology, Sociology, 47, (4) pp. 841-857. ISSN 0038-0385 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 The Author(s)

DOI: doi:10.1177/0038038512453787


Morality is argued to be in a state of decline in the contemporary West. This article identifies two dominant strands of moral decline sociology: the ‘cultural pessimists’ and the ‘communitarians’. The article argues that these two dominant assessments of moral loss are underwritten by a set of assumptions concerning ‘society’ as the necessary source of morality and a disparaging view of emotion, body and self-authenticity culture. Drawing on Bauman, Ahmed, Irigaray and Taylor, the cultural pessimist and communitarian diagnoses of the moral present are critiqued as offering an overly pessimistic account of contemporary morality that ignores society as a ‘morality-silencing’ force and denies the ethical significance of self, emotions, body and therapeutic ideals of self-improvement and authenticity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:authenticity, Bauman, body, decline sociology, emotions, ethics, morality, self-fulfilment
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Social theory
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Ethics
Objective Field:Social ethics
UTAS Author:Hookway, N (Dr Nicholas Hookway)
ID Code:80027
Year Published:2013 (online first 2012)
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Sociology and Social Work
Deposited On:2012-10-17
Last Modified:2017-11-29

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