Book: Morality in Practice
Chapter: Somewhere between evil and normal: Traces of morality in a child protection helpline
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.