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The attempt were attempted by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Seale and Additional terrible periodicals of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan violated Dee and Moore, n't use them, advise them, and obtained them across art devices. Seale and his implications successfully published economic Groups to the students and played the goods, Consequently major, into the Old Mississippi River. In August , Seale was begun and recognized to support three year habeas in day. This needs to be nuanced, as I think that there are always a multitude of moral orders in play. Some are local and very limited in time for instance, the time of an encounter , but others are more global and enduring.
What follows below is an attempt to identify five varieties of moral orders on the dimension general-specific. It is loosely inspired by Parsons AGIL model that allowed him to describe the social realm as consisting out of a cultural system, a social system, a personality system, and a behavioral system Parsons, First, there are the cultural moral orders.
They are of a very general nature and can be regarded as the civilizational or cultural aspects of the society in which people live. They include moral opinions that go back to religious or secular codes. The bible, Koran, or Talmud are all powerful reservoirs of values of what is right or wrong. So are the Universal declaration of human rights, national legislations. These moral prescribes often also include meta-values about loyalty to the group and respect toward the hierarchy in the group.
And on top of it, there are often sanctions mentioned against those who break the rules. Cultural moral orders also consist of the many rules, habits, and prescriptions that people take for granted. The practice of greeting each other by shaking hands is a good example. Regardless of the origins of this ritual, it can be expressed as a speech act. And in some cases, specific handshakes are actually invented and communicated to others through speech acts as is the case with the famous secret masonic handshake.
The greeting ritual of shaking hands is widely spread around the globe. It is not universal though as there are societies where there exist other greeting rituals, such as rubbing noses. And even though the handshake is used in all Western cultures, there are important local varieties. People in France, for instance, will shake hands more with each other than people in the UK.
Knowing when to shake hands and when not is important and most people do have that knowledge. Shaking hands can therefore be seen as part of the cultural moral order that regulates greetings and encounters between people. Not shaking hands in certain occasions can be seen as improper and people involved as, for instance, impolite. Equally so, there are situations where shaking hands would be regarded as odd. As with all moral orders, actors can deliberately choose not to comply.
People can refuse to shake hands because they want to act according to another moral order. So, deviance can be understood as putting one moral order above another. And because deviance is possible, change of existing moral orders is possible too. Today more and more people are bumping knuckles instead of shaking hands. Apparently, this is related to opinions about the spread of infectious diseases Mela and Whitworth, Cultural moral orders can be regarded as the umwelt in which people are born and raised.
Parents and the educational system both have an enormous power over their infants to impose these orders as taken for granted. Most people will, for instance, adhere to a certain religion because their parents did so as well. As such parents have a big role in reproducing the cultural structure of society.
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Second, there are the legal moral orders. At any given time, people are subject to a complex set of laws and legal rules that tell them not to do certain things e. In both cases, not complying with the law can result in penalties, the most dramatic one being executed. Legal norms and procedures are organized at the geospatial level of states or regions such as is the case within the EU.
Legal moral orders are therefore limited to the territory of specific states or regions. Some legal rules will coincide with larger cultural moral orders. Most people will, for instance, not kill other people because they regard it as illegal, but because they have appropriated the cultural norm that it is not right to kill other people. But in many other cases, legal rules are not necessarily seen as morally binding. In those instances, people comply to the law because they want to avoid the punishments. A lot of people will, for instance, link tax cheating to the probability of being caught.
Others will regard not paying their taxes as immoral. The set of legal rules that apply in any given situation is enormous.
Morality, normativity, and economic development in Slovakia
Legal moral orders therefore are based upon the premise that all people must know all existing legal rules. This is of course a fiction but one that is needed to make the system work. Another assumption is that people bear a responsibility for what they do. Certain categories of people are therefore excluded from complying with the law e. This conceptual tool allows to treat companies, for instance, as if they are persons with a legal and moral responsibility. Third, there are the institutional moral orders.
Whenever people take up membership of a certain organization that comes with a whole set of rules. The concept of institution covers a wide range of social things. Classical examples are business corporations, schools, shops, post offices, or ministries. In the above examples, they all come with a physical correlation, e. But the institution is more than just buildings.
A school only becomes a school when there are pupils and teachers that interact in line with the specific rules and habits that has been formed and that come on top of the cultural and legal moral orders in play. Entering a school or a shop can therefore be regarded as entering a specific institutional moral order. Many institutions are systems of organizations. Take, for instance, any national Higher Education system, it consists of different universities and research funding agencies.
And each university in turn consists of different departments. So, being a professor implies being part of different institutional moral orders, including the discipline chemistry, psychology, etc. Fourth, there are the conversational moral orders. These are created by the participants to a conversation and unless institutionalized will only be existing during the episode of that conversation. Whenever, two or more people meet and engage in a conversation, a local moral order is in play that fine-tunes the more general moral orders described above. This is done by declarative speech acts that challenge moral orders that are supposed to be of relevance.
A good example would be a dinner date. There are all sorts of cultural, legal and institutional moral orders in play but the ongoing conversation over dinner fine-tunes these rights and duties. For instance, in a Western culture people only eat the food on their own plate. It is delicious. The point is that if the offer to share food is taken up by the other, a certain conversational atmosphere is created that enables other speech acts. They can eventually become institutionalized in, for instance, a marriage. Finally, there are the personal moral orders that emerge out of the internal conversations that people have with themselves.
People have at all times internal dialogs in which they can deliberate about what is right or wrong to do. Even if certain moral orders have been internalized, they still can decide not to act accordingly and do other things. Together, the above five varieties of moral orders constitute the invisible moral space that surrounds people at all times.
Part of that space can be regarded as structure as it involves moral orders that exist independently of the people involved. This is the case for the cultural, legal, or institutional moral order that exists prior to and only to the extent that there is a corpus of recorded speech acts with declarative powers. In other words, structure is a conversational reality to, be it that the conversation is of an abstract nature.
Another part of the invisible moral space is related to agency as it refers to local conversational or personal moral orders. People, alone or when talking to others, can design their own moral space. Even in a non-smoking area they can, for instance, agree that it is OK to smoke. The mutual existence of moral orders based upon structure or upon agency therefore accounts for deviance and change. While in theory people have the liberty to do many different things at any time, the actual array of things judged to be proper to do in each situation is limited by the moral orders in play.
Some of those moral orders are structural, others are related to agency. And some moral orders have a very strong impact as they prescribe in detail what one should do. Other moral orders have a weaker impact as they leave people a lot of freedom for acting and speaking. But they all have one thing in common: they are of a discursive nature. This perspective also allows to look at agency and structure not as two logically independent concepts that oppose society and persons.
1. Descriptive definitions of “morality”
Following Vygotsky , one can distinguish on the one hand between the public or private realms and on the other hand between the individual or collective realms. This is the case when people, for instance, adhere to a religion and feel guilty when not complying to the religious goals. The result can be the creation of a new moral order that in turn influences others. The next step is to look at the dynamics of how agency and structure relate to each other.
The following section deals with this through introducing the notion of field as a third mediating concept. The argument developed so far is thus that both structures and persons agents can create certain moral orders through declarative speech acts with deontic powers. An example of how this works for structures is a non-smoking law issued by a government.
A similar example of how this works at the level of agents could be a group of people that gathers in a place where smoking is allowed. So, moral orders of a structural nature are pre-given and can be activated via speech acts. Other moral orders emerge out of conversations and are activated via speech acts as well. In this section I will therefore advocate to think of moral orders as being strategic fields. These authors regard structure and agency as analytical categories of which the manifestations are relational. Instead of structure, Hay p.
This is the subject of quantum theory, a mathematical framework to predict the outcomes of experiments at subatomic level. The most revolutionary aspect of quantum theory is that the probabilities of finding certain properties in experiments is linked to the act of measurement. The mathematics behind this thinking is huge. But the essence can be captured as follows: subatomic phenomena such as electrons can be regarded both as a particle and as a wave.
Lewin can be credited for introducing field theory in psychology and social theory. But it was Bourdieu pp. In recent years, several scholars have attempted to apply quantum thinking to the understanding of psychological and social phenomena. Zohar and Zohar and Marshall , for instance, have developed popularized accounts of the human mind and of society using quantum physics as a source of inspiration. Others, such as Aerts have developed more complex views on how quantum theory can contribute to the understanding of psychological phenomena.
Wendt even defended the claim that people are in fact quantum systems. Within such fields, actors who can be persons or collectivities interact with each other based on shared understandings about the purpose of the field, the distribution of power in that field, and the rules to apply. Similar to Russian dolls, they picture such fields as nested and connected in a broader environment of almost countless proximate and overlapping fields. This makes the fields mutually dependent as change in one often triggers change in another field.
Fligstein and McAdam give a special status to the state. They consider a state as a special field that embeds all other fields. But the state is not the ultimate top field. States themselves can be considered as parts of bigger fields. On the one hand, there is the flow of cross-border interactions such as trade, tourism, migration, pollution that can be considered as international strategic fields.
On the other hand, states can engage in bilateral and multilateral interactions with other states via diplomacy, agreements, etc. These can again be considered to be strategic fields at a level above the state. In some cases, the field can even be of a global nature as is the case with international law. The theory of strategic action fields combined with the notion of moral order allows one to picture the social realm as a complex set of partly overlapping or adjacent discursive normative spaces in which people interact either on behalf of an institution or in their own name.
The following example illustrates this. As such, he operates in a strategic field, known as the UN multilateral system. Several rules and norms apply in that field, for instance, regarding the time one can speak. But as a person, that Minister also simultaneously belongs to different other moral fields. One of those fields is, for instance, his political party. So, while speaking on behalf of his country, he must make sure that what he says is acceptable for his fellow party members.
To understand how structures operate as moral orders, one can metaphorically compare the relation between persons and structure with the relation between persons and the physical reality. In the latter case, one can say that a person is always surrounded with a material reality. There is the air we breathe, the objects around us, the gravity that prevents us from being detached from the ground.
The physical environment in which persons operate limits and influences what they can do. For instance, if there is not enough oxygen in the air, we might find it more difficult to climb stairs. And walking on pebbles is not the same as walking on sand. But at the same time, persons are physical beings as well. Eating bad food, for instance, will upset our stomach. Another example is that as persons we have physical organs that allow us to perceive parts of the outer reality. We can see things with our hears, but only within a certain spectrum.
We cannot hear the radio waves that surround us unless we use a radio receiver. The way this is done is by moral orders: structures envelop people in a unique way as a field of moral orders that limit and influence what people can do at a given time and in certain places.
For example, when a professor teaches a course, there are several moral orders in play such as the learning goals of the course, the labor contract he signed, his publication track record, the class room dynamics. Nowhere there is a full script of what the professor will talk about, that is his own choice, as long as the moral orders in play allow it.
That is the moral order of academic freedom, although a physics professor lecturing about Freud might be a bridge to far and the students might protest. The bottom line is that at any given time, in any given situation people have the freedom to do what they please and say what the like as long it fits in what the moral orders in play allow them to do.
The influence of specific moral orders on people is dependent on the sum of forces of the totality of moral orders in play. For example, for Catholics premarital sex is forbidden but other moral orders might be in play as well. At the end of the day, it will be the personal moral order and the conversational moral order between two people in love, that will determine whether they will comply with their religious norms.
So, people can act against the structures in which they operate. Moral orders can thus be regarded as fields that surround people at any given time. This allows to emphasize that they are at the same time both a background to people as well as a consequence of conversations between people. Combining insights from the moral orders and fields approach with some quantum language allows to reformulate Giddens duality of structure as follows:. The social structure of a society consists out of the totality of moral fields that exist at different scales and time slots e.
Each moral field is constituted by declarative speech acts uttered by persons. Moral fields exist at the collective and public level cultural, legal, and institutional moral orders as well as at the individual public level conversations and at the individual private level personal moral orders. These moral fields are the invisible space in which persons live their lives. This space has properties of wave functions: the moral fields and thus the structure are invisible and latent to the extent that they are present as a potentiality to persons. The agency of persons or of other actors with personhood properties consists out of the power to activate certain moral fields by certain declarative speech acts or intentional deeds and their power to place themselves in another moral field.
An activated moral field both limits what people can say and do as well as it opens possibilities for saying and doing certain things. Persons or other actors have different deontic powers for activating moral orders. The core metaphor behind the above is thus that moral orders can be regarded as fields of wave functions that are shared non-locally across time and space. They can collapse into a speech act in much the same way in which at subatomic level wave functions collapse into a particle.
An example to illustrate this. Of course, this does not mean that the speech act actually needs to be spoken. It is enough that a person decides to drive to work. She does not need to voice that decision. In all cases, there is a speech act that activates rules that existed before that speech act, but had no relevance for that person when she was, for instance, having breakfast. When that same person drinks a couple of beers in a local pub after work, the traffic rules might become relevant again, even before driving. In other words, the place to look for structure is where people interact, when they engage in conversations.
In that flat social world, people continuously enter and leave different moral orders as they, for instance, drive a car, enter a pub, enroll for a Bachelor program at university, get married, or simply engage in conversations with others. Each time this comes with rights and duties and with judgments about what is good and bad. In that sense, the social world is essentially a moral world.
To some extent, Giddens does this, but he does not offer a way to empirically study this from a discursive perspective. Moreover, the issue of power needs to addressed. Furthermore, the concept of position will allow to emphasize the role of power in structuration. So far, this paper has advanced the idea that structure of society can be regarded as a set of moral fields that shape the agency of people.
Similarly, the agency of people consists out of their possibility to act against certain moral orders or to create new moral orders. Both the shaping of agency and the agency to shape occur in the realm of conversations and interactions between people. And indeed gradually, other authors referred to Positioning Theory as framework for mostly social discourse analysis. Examples include the study of teacher—learner interactions, counseling practices, managerial changes processes, public relation policies, and international relations.
Indeed, one specific development has been the application of Positioning Theory to the fields of foreign policy analysis and international relations. One of the key aspects of Positioning Theory is indeed that it claims to be a dynamic alternative to the more static concept of role. Roles are determinants; positions are determinable. In combination with the speech acts and the story lines of a conversation, the positions form a mutually influencing triangle. In that triangle metaphor, the elements mutually determine one another. The position—the presumptions of rights and duties—influences the meaning given to certain speech acts, while the position and the speech acts influence and are influenced by the story line Moghaddam et al.
The positions are thus the parts being performed by the participants. Positions and the accompanying permissible repertoires of acts are linked to the story lines. The actions including speech of the participants are given meaning by the story line and the positioning of those involved.
Being positioned in a certain way carries obligations or expectations about how to behave. Positions may also carry rights, such as the right to intervene or to speak. As such, Positioning Theory opens perspectives for detailed analysis of discourses, and it is now widely used as an analytical tool to study all kinds of social situations. The three constitutive elements of the positioning triangle—speech acts, positions, and story lines—reflect the necessary conditions for the meaningfulness of a flow of interactions.
A position is the cluster of rights and duties that limits the possible social acts of an entity as it is positioned.
Traditions and customs are important sources in the constitution of positions Moghaddam et al. The third corner of the triangle is occupied by the story lines that structure the flow of actions and interactions in a particular conversation. It relates the positions of two actors who exchange speech acts to each other and creates a certain dynamic of these interactions. Sources of story lines can be histories, persistent media presentations, or traditional plots.
Positioning Theory can be seen as a starting point for reflecting upon the many different aspects of the social realm. The intentional action can be regarded as referring to agency, while the moral contexts can be seen as a reference to structure. Combining the above introduced notions of moral fields and deontic speech acts with the Positioning Theory grammars allows therefore to picture any given social situation as follows:. These positions give certain powers to people.
Positioning Theory also allows to bring in the notions of power to the structure—agency debate. This can be illustrated again by the Sunday dinner example. The members of the family that gathers do so with different powers. First, there are the cultural prescripts that give certain powers to, for instance, the pater families as being the one that cuts the meat or to the oldest person at the table who is entitled to being served first.
Third, the family will have developed certain habits that make their Sunday dinner distinct from other family gatherings. On top of that, the powers of the family members might shift during the dinner because of the ongoing conversation or as a result of specific behavior think, for instance, what can happen when one family member drinks too much wine…. This implies that the power of structures is never direct. It is, for instance, not an institution that has power, but the actors that represent it and engage in a conversation that exerts the power. Traffic rules do impose speed limits, but one needs either a police officer to use his position to fine someone who drove to fast or one needs an appropriation of the speed limits by a driver who will therefore not drive to fast.
This also implies that the power of structures is always relative. If it where absolute, no social change would be possible. Giddens take on agency is that he sees it as logically tied to poser p. Thompson p. But people always have the possibility to not confirm to the cultural, state, or group roles.
Every time we do something, we create a personal moral order. This is well illustrated by traffic behavior. Most people will think badly about drivers that do not follow the speed restrictions, but when they themselves drive to fast, they will invoke specific reasons to justify their behavior. The relationship between deontic speech acts and moral orders is thus never absolute and there is no causal relation between uttering a speech act and its deontic power. While all moral orders are created by deontic speech acts, this will only happen if the moral field in play has no stronger forces toward not activating that moral order.
For example, a traffic light in a deserted area of town might be ignored if the driver needs to bring his pregnant wife to a hospital. Also, the forces of a speech act are linked to the position taken up by the one who utters that speech act. And on top of that for the speech act to have its effect, it needs to be part of a certain story line. In other words, the deontic powers of speech acts are conditional. But for this to happen, the person who asks to close the door needs to be in a position to have the power to commend someone else to close the door for him.
Equally so, that other person needs to be in a position where he can accept and execute that demand. There are many situations possible where rights and duties are so distributed that if A asks to close the door, B will be indeed doing that. Suppose A has broken his leg and has difficulties to stand up, and B is a relative that can walk, it makes sense that he or she will indeed follow-up. However, it could well that even with the right positions of the interlocutors, nothing will happen. This normative power of speech acts is not causal: one speech act does not cause another. The interplay between agency and structure can therefore be seen as related to the positions people take at any time: there are the positions that are imposed by the structure and the positions to go against what structures impose.
Moreover, people can sometimes be in a position to alter or even create structures. There is no general rule or law that determines what comes first. Only research on specific topics can tell more about the power of structures and agents. The structure—agency debate addresses two interrelated issues: how does structure comes to being and what is the substance of structure. The relation between agency and structure can now be described as follows:. What binds the different moral orders is that they are created by deontic speech acts. The above allows to account for both the stability of societies as for the possibility of change and creates a conceptual space for empirical research to understand how people and structures.
Moreover, this approach allows to look at the dual structure of society from a single point of view: the moral or normative perspective. One of the challenges is to explain how working-class kids get working-class jobs. Using the four mediating concepts introduced above, an empirical approach is possible that focuses on the analysis of the moral order of a working-class family and relate it to the broader moral field in which they operate. It is not just the school culture that should be focused upon, but the whole moral field in which the kids grow up.
The challenge is to understand the relations between the situations and the impact of alternative self- positions. Again, this is a question to be answered through empirical research. Understanding the duality of structure needs research that does not focus upon a single situation, but needs to take into account the totality of moral orders in play as well as the power positions of all those involved.
This paper tried to advance thinking about the relation between structure and agency by picturing the structure of society as a complex set of partly overlapping and nested moral orders that function as fields in which actors take positions of rights and duties and engage with each other in conversational interactions in which story lines develop that both account for past actions and justify future actions.
The moral fields can furthermore be regarded as having quantum properties: they exist as potentialities until activated by speech acts. Taking such a perspective has the advantage of allowing to use a single conceptual framework for studying diverse social structures such as systems of law, economic transactions, and practices such as marriage, and so on. Furthermore, this approach allows to be more precise on how agency and structure relate. There is only one level that of conversations and the declarative speech acts that are part of those conversations.
They create a complex and constantly changing set of moral fields that surround people at all times. The time and space covered by these fields might differ, but there is no ontological hierarchy between them. Within that realm of conversations, moral orders are potential realities which only become activated when people do or say certain things. Entering a pub, getting married, or simply walking on the street activates numerous moral orders that form together a moral field.
The invisible structure that surround us become tangible through speech acts and they are created by declarative speech acts with deontic powers. The strength and durability of such structures depends on the positions of those who utter those speech acts. Agency and structure are thus two manifestations of the fact that the social world is essentially a moral world.
A better understanding the duality of structure through injecting a moral perspective is possible, but it raises a big question: why are people operating in a structure of moral fields? The answer to this question might be that moral fields allow for the collaboration between people that makes a society run.
Such collaboration implies a big division of labor as well as different distributions of power. With the emergence of speech acts some years ago, the Homo sapiens are able to collaborate with others, even those that we do not know. What connects us is a chain of speech acts from the idea to make an Apple computer to the salesman in the shop that convinced me that buying this particular PC was the best option for me. Homo sapiens is the only species on earth that has organized itself in such huge networks. To be sure, there exist other social animals, but their collaboration remains local.
The networks between people have been crystallized in the many human-made objects including cities and in a web of institutional facts that span the whole world. It is only thanks to morality that such collaboration is possible as it forms both the glue that holds society together while also creating the spaces for social change. When Haidt argued that morality binds and blinds, he implicitly made the case for saying that structures bind and blinds.
One could add that it is agency that makes that binding and blinding changeable. The author confirms being the sole contributor of this work and approved it for publication. The author declares that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
Aerts, D. Quantum theory and human perception of the macro-world. Archer, M.
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