A Cultural Sociology of Evil

Jeffrey C. Alexander

in The Meanings of Social Life

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780195160840
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199944156 | DOI:
A Cultural Sociology of Evil

Show Summary Details


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

Chapter.  5224 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.