Theorizing morality in context

Masoud Shadnam

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


How does context condition morality? This is one of the core questions of the sociology of morality and also one that has remained largely untheorized till date. In this article, we draw on insights from symbolic interactionism, and develop a theoretical framework that highlights the role of context in variation of morality. This framework is informed by a view of the self as a reflexive process that engages with moral norms through giving a self-account in relation to the norms. Based on this view, we distinguish between three contextual dimensions that condition morality: symbolic forms, scenes of address, and narrating subjects. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of the presented theoretical framework for sociological studies of morality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-480
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Review of Sociology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Context
  • Morality
  • Self
  • Socialinteraction
  • Theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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