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The Meanings of Social LifeA Cultural Sociology$
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Jeffrey C. Alexander

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195160840

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195160840.001.0001

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A Cultural Sociology of Evil

A Cultural Sociology of Evil

(p.109) 4 A Cultural Sociology of Evil
The Meanings of Social Life

Jeffrey C. Alexander

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the concept of the cultural sociology of evil. It explains that for every effort to institutionalize comforting and inspiring images of the socially good and right, there is an interlinked and equally determined effort to construct social evil in a horrendous, frightening, and equally realistic way. It discusses the systematic crystallization and elaboration of evil by institutions and societies in their pursuit of the good. It also discusses the intellectual roots of the displacement of evil, the displacement of evil in contemporary social science and the transgression and the affirmation of evil and good.

Keywords:   social evil, cultural sociology, socially good, displacement of evil, social science

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