Conflict, Contradiction, and Contrarian Elements in Moral Development and Education
The premise of this book is that individuals and societies have an inexorable urge to morally develop by challenging the assumptions of the previous generation in terms of what is right and wrong. The focus is on the nature and functional value of conflicts and challenges to the dominant moral and social values framework. Through this analysis, individuals develop moral character through conflict with their local authority figures, including parents. The moral structure of societies evolves through intergenerational challenges to and contradictions with the dominant social order.
The book is divided into three parts to help frame this discussion:
*Part I directly takes up the issue of resistance as it occurs at a cultural level, and the implications of such resistance for moral education and socialization.
*Part II explores the normative forms of adolescent resistance and contrarian behavior that vex parents and teachers alike.
*Part III brings back the issue of societal structure and culture to illustrate how negative features of society--such as racial discrimination and economic disparity--can feed into the construction of negative moral identity in youth posing challenges to moral education.
Taken together, this collection presents a rich counterpoint to the pictures of moral growth as the progressive sophistication of moral reasoning or the gradual accretion of moral virtues and cultural values. It will benefit those in developmental, social, and cognitive psychology, as well as sociology, political science, and education.