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Moralities

  • By: Marian Adolf & Nico Stehr
  • In: Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture
  • Edited by: Dale Southerton
  • Subject:Sociology of Consumption, Consumer Psychology, Consumer Culture

The term moralities refers to the notion that economic processes and particularly actions in the marketplace have social and cultural foundations that yield ethical and moral questions, without which economic conduct and consumption cannot be properly understood. The following observations depict this problem from a sociological perspective.

Major Dimensions and the History of Morality in Economic Thought

For large stretches of the twentieth century, the notion that (social) morality, (cultural) values, or (individual) emotions play a significant role in the way we conduct business was a marginalized sentimentality. Neoclassical economic theory and its derivatives, which dominated economic as well as politico-economic discourse, imposed a strictly rationalist conception of economic action. Still, the roots of this prevalent doctrine of the market are of relatively recent origin. Two rough ...

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