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Moral identity, identification and emotion: a relational and interactive approach

Abbott, Owen ORCID: and Burkitt, Ian 2023. Moral identity, identification and emotion: a relational and interactive approach. International Review of Sociology 33 (2) , pp. 326-348. 10.1080/03906701.2023.2242648
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This paper extends a relational theory of the interconnection between morality, identity, and emotion. We argue that interactional identification with others is central to the development of the moral self, which begins early in childhood as we become the object of the emotional-evaluative attitude of others––becoming a subject to ourselves––while also identifying with others and with the values they embody. This position is extended in contrast to social philosophical ideas of morality and identity, central to which is the notion of narrative identity, and to sociological social psychology where identity theory is taken to be pivotal to understanding the self as driven by the need for verification. In our view, neither of these approaches sufficiently recognise how moral identities are moulded within social relations, interactions, and the identifications these engender. Nor do they take adequate account of the embodied, emotional and intuitional basis of moral identity. We draw on G. H. Mead’s theory of the self and moral socialisation to provide a theory of moral selfhood formed within social relations and interactions, while extending his arguments via insight from C. H. Cooley and M. M. Bakhtin to give greater attention to emotional evaluation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Group
ISSN: 1469-9273
Funders: Leverhulme Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 June 2023
Date of Acceptance: 27 May 2023
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2024 08:15

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