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Morality in Practice

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Issues of morality and children have traditionally been investigated within the realm of developmental psychology, treating the human ability to adopt certain values as a matter of individual and cognitive growth. As an alternative, this book approaches the morality of young persons from a practice oriented perspective. In essence, such an approach adopts a view of morality as something participants jointly accomplish in going about their everyday social affairs. That is to say, rather than relying on developmental theory or moral philosophy in exploring the moral worlds of young persons, a practice oriented approach adopts a primarily empirical stance, leaning on qualitative analysis of naturally occurring social interaction as found in, for example, ethnomethodology, conversation analysis and discursive psychology.

This collection brings together scholars from Australia, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States. Twelve empirical chapters focus on different aspects of everyday morality as practiced among children and youth as well as a range of participants who act in their role as adults, lay or professional, to foster, educate and in various ways support young people in daily life. The volume opens with an introductory chapter by the editors, who briefly present a practice based perspective on morality, situating at the same time the individual chapters within the fields of discursive research on children and youth in society.

Published: Nov 1, 2024

Book Contributors


Section Chapter Authors
Chapter 1 Introduction
Morality in practice: studies of childhood, parenthood and schooling in everyday life Michael Tholander, Jakob Cromdal
Chapter 2
Vicarious accounts: Morality and responsibility in Italian family dinner conversations Laura Sterponi
Chapter 3
Mundane morality and gender in familial neighbour disputes Elizabeth Stokoe, Derek Edwards
Chapter 4
Family therapy and accountability Karin Aronsson
Chapter 5
“Well, now I’m upset”: Moral and social orders in the playground Maryanne Theobald, Susan Danby
Chapter 6
From doing it to doing it right – morals of literacy learning in transition into school Fritjof Sahlström
Chapter 7
Promoting or restricting the freedom of speech? A turn-taking analysis of a classroom discussion on capital punishment. Anna Lindström
Chapter 8
Students’ teasing as a silencing device Michael Tholander
Chapter 9
“You’re laughing at him”: Bullying as a social practice in middle school Laurie Schick
Chapter 10
Schoolyard suspect: Blame management among children and teachers Ann-Carita Evaldsson
Chapter 11
Imagining the moral self Annice Barber
Chapter 12
Somewhere between evil and normal: Traces of morality in a child protection helpline Jonathan Potter, Alexa Hepburn
Chapter 13
Kids, counsellors and troubles-telling: Morality-in-action in talk on an Australian children’s helpline Susan Danby, Michael Emmison

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