The Moral Fabric in Contemporary Societies

The Annals of the International Institute of Sociology – Volume 9


Neither the title of the 35th Congress of the International Institute of Sociology, nor its timing and location were coincidental — The Moral Fabric in Contemporary Societies being discussed in 2001 in Poland, a country which had experienced two totalitarianisms in the previous century. The events of the new millennium thus far demonstrate that history is aimless unless the societies who are its agents have moral goals or visions which they pursue.
The contents of this volume constitute the best evidence of a belief in the universality and importance of moral issues for the social sciences. The deliberations here cover the notion of trust, proceed with the issue of economic inequalities, discuss multiple modernities as a response to imposed modernization, debate postcommunism and corruption, and, finally, examine genocide and its social consequences. The book opens and closes with reflections on the theoretical aspects of what constitutes the moral fabric today.


EUR €104.00USD $128.00

Biographical Note

Grażyna Skąpska is Professor of Sociology and Chair in the sociology of norms and organizations at the Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland. She is Vice-President of the International Institute of Sociology. Annamaria Orla-Bukowska is a social anthropologist at the Jagiellonian University; her general field of research is majority-minority relations. She will be a 2004 Yad Vashem Fellow. Krzystof Kowalski, Ph.D. (2000), Jagiellonian University, works and teaches in the Centre for European Studies at the Jagiellonian University.

Table of contents

Preface, Grażyna Skąpska SECTION ONE: THE MORAL FABRIC IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETIES: TWO PERSPECTIVES Morality in Contemporary Society, Masamichi Sasaki Morality in Contemporary Social Theory, Grażyna Skąpska SECTION TWO: TRUST IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETIES Trust: A Cultural Resource, Piotr Sztompka Some Observations on Problems of Trust in Modern Societies, Shmuel Eisenstadt SECTION THREE: PROMISES AND DISAPPOINTMENTS: EASTERN EUROPE AFTER COMMUNISM SEEN FROM SYDNEY AND PRAGUE Parables of Hope and Disappointment, Martin Krygier Everyday Democracy in the Czech Republic: Disappointments or New Morals in a Time of Neo-Normalization, Jirina Siklova SECTION FOUR: DIVIDED WORLD – FACES OF INEQUALITIES Dimensions and Processes of Global Inequalities, Göran Therborn Postsocialist Transformations and Various Faces of Inequalities in the Divided World, Pavel Machonin SECTION FIVE: COPING WITH CORRUPTION Is a Sociology of Corruption Possible?, Jacek Kurczewski The Paths of Italian Corruption, Vincenzo Ferrari Trust-Mistrust in European Democracies, Mattei Dogan SECTION SIX:THE MORAL SENSE OF MODERNIZATION The Moral Dimensions and Tensions of Modernity, Shmuel Eisenstadt Varieties and Transcendence of Modernity, Björn Wittrock Modernity, Tradition and the Shi`ite Reformation in Contemporary Iran?, Said Amir Arjomand Literature and the Moral Imagination of Modernity, Sudipta Kaviraj SECTION SEVEN: TERROR, GENOCIDE, AND VIOLENCE The De-Civilizing Process, Eliezer Ben Rafael “Women, children, older people”: Genocide, Warfare, and the Functional Differentiation of Society, Klaus Dammann Society as a "Morality-Silencing" Force: Primo Levi, Existential Power, and the Concentration Camp, Nigel Rapport Answers to Atrocities, Nils Christie AFTERWORD The Moral Fabric: Diverse Textures in the Postmodern World, Krzysztof Kowalski& Annamaria Orla-Bukowska List of Editors and Contributors