Sociology Index


Moral rhetoric is the claims and assertions that deviants make to normalize and rationalize deviant behavior. Moral rhetoric is used justify unfairness, exploitation or moral failing. The moral rhetoric of a group is an important component of socialization into a deviant identity. A Western moral rhetoric fares well if the researcher chooses methodological individualism. The framework assists a moral rhetoric by providing it with concrete rather than abstract social actors, with a basis for explanation in terms of motive rather than situational forces. Moral rhetoric can mobilize copartisans by activating positive emotions about their partisan preference. Colleen J. Shogan highlights the specific political circumstances that encourage or discourage the use of moral rhetoric and analyzes several dilemmas of governance instigated by George W. Bush's persistent devotion to moral and religious argumentation.

Colleen J. Shogan applies her analysis to understanding the role of Bush's moral rhetoric in the 2006 Congressional elections. She considers the change in his addresses after his party's midterm losses and, surveying the likely candidates for the 2008 presidential election, argues that they will need to ascertain how to maximize the strategic utility of moral rhetoric and religious rhetoric.

Moral Rhetoric In The Face Of Strategic Weakness: Emperimental Clues For An Ancient Puzzle - VAROUFAKIS Y. Moralising is a venerable last resort strategy. The ancient Melians presented the Athenian generals with a splendid example when in a particularly tight corner. In our Western philosophical tradition moral rhetoric is often couched in the form of reasons for action either external to preference and desire or internal to the agent's calculus of desire. A third tradition dismisses such rhetoric as the last recourse of the weak, whereas a fourth calls for an examination of the social context (e.g., Socrates, Karl Marx, Wittgenstein, Jurgen Habermas).

The Moral Rhetoric of American Presidents (Presidential Rhetoric Series) – Colleen J. Shogan.

In "The Moral Rhetoric of American Presidents", Colleen J. Shogan astutely analyzes the president's role as the nation's moral spokesman and demonstrates that moral rhetoric and religious rhetoric is a strategic tool presidents can use to enhance their constitutional authority. Colleen J. Shogan employs content analysis of the inaugural and annual addresses of all the presidents from George Washington through George W. Bush.

This quantitative evidence shows that while presidents of both parties have used moral rhetoric and religious arguments, the frequency has fluctuated considerably and the language has become increasingly detached from relevant policy arguments. Shogan explores the political effects of the rhetorical choices presidents make through nine historical cases: Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Buchanan, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Carter.

Measuring Moral Rhetoric in Text - Eyal Sagi, Morteza Dehghani.
Abstract: In this paper we present a computational text analysis technique for measuring the moral loading of concepts as they are used in a corpus. This method is especially useful for the study of online corpora as it allows for the rapid analysis of moral rhetoric in texts such as blogs and tweets as events unfold. We use latent semantic analysis to compute the semantic similarity between concepts and moral keywords taken from the “Moral foundation Dictionary”. This measure of semantic similarity represents the loading of these concepts on the five moral dimensions identified by moral foundation theory.

E. Digby Baltzell: Moral Rhetoric and Research Methodology - Samuel Z. Klausner.

The ways in which values are assimilated to social research differ according to the theoretical frame of reference informing the research. A Western moral rhetoric fares well if the researcher chooses a methodologically individualist framework.

The framework assists a moral rhetoric by providing it with concrete rather than abstract social actors and with a basis for explanation in terms of motive rather than situational forces. Along the way moral statements can appear in the form of empirical generalizations and historical laws.

Moral Dilemmas and Moral Rhetoric in Interviews with Conscientious Objectors. 
Adelsward, Viveka. Source: Research on Language and Social Interaction.
Abstract: Presents an exploratory study based on 20 interviews with Swedish conscientious objectors. The interviews represent a special form of institutional discourse, the evaluative interview, designed to help decide whether or not the conscientious objector is to be recommended for alternative civilian service.

Moral Reasoning and Moral Rhetoric: The Acceptability of Arguments About AIDS-Related Dilemmas. Michael L. Schwalbe, CLIFFORD L. STAPLES.
Abstract: The disease AIDS has given rise to a host of social dilemmas. Here we explore the moral rhetoric that affects people's reasoning about actions taken in the face of such dilemmas. The arguments embodied concerns typical of moral rhetoric or moral reasoning at each of Kohlberg's six stages. We found that the acceptability of stage-typical moral rhetoric about AIDS-related dilemmas depends on both the dilemma at hand and the course of action being argued for. We argue that knowledge of how people respond to different kinds of moral rhetoric or moral arguments concerning AIDS-related dilemmas.

The primacy of abortion in the moral rhetoric of U.S. Catholic bishops
Sunshine ER.