Moral Time

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-04-14
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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For 30 years, Professor Donald Black has been developing a theory intended to explain social life using only the variable aspects of social structure, without reference to the purposes of human action, psychology, or even individuals-a theory of pure sociology. Though Black's work is controversial, it is also highly influential. His previous books offer powerful explanations of the behavior of law, right and wrong, punishment, and social control. Moral Time takes this grand project another step forward to present a general theory of conflict. Why do clashes of right and wrong occur? When will they occur? And why are some clashes worse than others? Black shows how changes in degrees of intimacy in social relations, stratification and inequality, and diversity in culture determine when conflict happens. The greater and the more rapid the change, the more likely some form of conflict will ensue. Throughout the book, Black applies his theory to an astounding range of human conflict from bad manners to crime and warfare, accusations of witchcraft, racism and anti-Semitism, conflict about sexual deviation, rebellion, heresy, obscenity, insanity, and conflict about creativity in science and art. At the heart of Black's theory of conflict is the very first conceptualization of social time (as opposed to physical or biological time), a topic rarely, if ever, discussed in-depth in the social sciences. Black is one of few truly original social theorists working today and this book is sure to secure an audience amongst a wide range of readers interested in conflict-a fundamental and inescapable aspect of social life.

Author Biography

Donald Black is a University Professor of the Social Sciences at the University of Virginia. He is the author of six books, including Sociological Justice (OUP 1989).

Table of Contents

The Nature Of Social Time - The Origin Of Conflict
Relational Time
Overinvolvement - Overexposure
Underinvolvement - Underexposure
Vertical Time
Oversuperiority - Overinferiority
Undersuperiority - Underinferiority
Cultural Time
Overtraditionalism - Overinnovation
Undertraditionalism - Underinnovation
The Geometry Of Social Time - Tribal Time - Modern Time - Postmodern Time
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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