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Morphogenesis and normativity: problems the former creates for the latter

Al-Amoudi, Ismael ORCID: 2014. Morphogenesis and normativity: problems the former creates for the latter. Archer, Margaret S., ed. Late modernity: trajectories towards morphogenic society, Social Morphogenesis, London: Springer, pp. 193-220.

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This chapter studies some of the contemporary problems created by social morphogenesis for normativity. It reflects on situations where morphogenetic mechanisms (conducive to structural transformation) dominate, without ever suppressing entirely, morphostatic ones (bringing structural stability). The questions addressed are two-folded: what are the expectable implications of morphogenesis for those premiums and penalties associated with breaking norms? And what are the historically specific, if socially widespread, manifestations of this evolution? The argument proceeds by distinguishing the sequential and concurrent dimensions of morphogenesis. The spread of sequential morphogenesis erodes the normativity of those institutions that are relatively more liquid than others and creates a premium for people following the latest normative tendency. Concurrent morphogenesis creates free-riding advantages by multiplying the number of escape routes, by allowing cheating through multiple memberships, and by offering facile legalist justifications. The concrete implications of these general mechanisms are traced in five key evolutions of social life: the commodification of relations of solidarity; the multiplication of novel normative problems; the increasing complexity of normative discussions; the multiplication of arbitrators; and society’s general attitude towards marginal groups.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9783319032658
Funders: ISRF
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 09:33

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