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Morality, Society and Culture

About the Series

The Morality, Society and Culture series invites scholarly explorations of how people in the contemporary world make sense of their lives, and manage to live well.

The series is concerned with studies in Metaphysical Sociology. It focuses on how people create meaningful lives, secure a moral compass, and anchor their identity in complex dynamic modern societies. It explores the contribution of ideas of truth, beauty, and goodness to this.

With metaphysics having taken a cultural turn, opening itself to sociological study and not just philosophical investigation, the series includes works on cultural texts such as novels, films, television programs, music, art, advertising, public events, architecture, video games, and social media, as well as social and economic institutions including work, organizations, markets, households, cities, technologies, and modes of sociability.

12 Series Titles

Per Page

A Cultural History of Laughter

A Cultural History of Laughter

1st Edition


By Abílio Almeida
August 07, 2024

Is laughter a sin? Or is it man’s best medicine? Is laughter now trivialised, mechanised or even weaponised by contemporary media? This book explores the social history of laughter in the West, from classical antiquity to the present day. Engaging with a range of thought from Plato to Nietzsche, it...

The Humanities, the Social Sciences and the University A Study in Knowledge Production

The Humanities, the Social Sciences and the University: A Study in Knowledge Production

1st Edition

By Harry Redner
May 31, 2023

The Humanities, the Social Sciences and the University is an intellectual history of research in the humanities and social sciences. It scrutinizes the priorities, values, objectives and publishing agendas of the modern university in order to assess the institutional pressures on research in major ...

The Politics of the Soul From Nietzsche to Arendt

The Politics of the Soul: From Nietzsche to Arendt

1st Edition

By John Dickson
December 16, 2022

This book takes the form of intellectual histories of eight major representative figures of the twentieth century, who inherited and responded to the spiritual problematic left by Nietzsche. With each figure offering very different ethical and spiritual positions, all shed light on what we mean ...

Kant: Anthropology, Imagination, Freedom

Kant: Anthropology, Imagination, Freedom

1st Edition

By John Rundell
August 01, 2022

In a new reading of Immanuel Kant’s work, this book interrogates his notions of the imagination and anthropology, identifying these – rather than the problem of reason – as the two central pivoting orientations of his work. Such an approach allows a more complex understanding of his ...

History of the Present The Contemporary and its Culture

History of the Present: The Contemporary and its Culture

1st Edition

By David Roberts
May 30, 2022

This book explores the demise of the grand narrative of European modernity. That once commanding narrative located the meaning of the past in the present and the meaning of the present in an ever-receding future. Today, instead, the present defines both the past and the future. The ‘contemporary’ ...

Cosmologies of the Anthropocene Panpsychism, Animism, and the Limits of Posthumanism

Cosmologies of the Anthropocene: Panpsychism, Animism, and the Limits of Posthumanism

1st Edition

By Arne Johan Vetlesen
July 31, 2020

This book engages with the classic philosophical question of mind and matter, seeking to show its altered meaning and acuteness in the era of the Anthropocene. Arguing that matter, and, more broadly, the natural world, has been misconceived since Descartes, it explores the devastating impact that ...

On Guilt The Force Shaping Character, History, and Culture

On Guilt: The Force Shaping Character, History, and Culture

1st Edition

By John Carroll
February 28, 2020

Guilt is the dark force behind haunting anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behaviour, life meaninglessness, and depression – a force to be kept in check. Yet guilt is equally our richest and most hidden resource, the essence of our humanness, and it drives us on to our highest achievements. Today, ...

The Anxiety of Ascent Middle-Class Narratives in Germany and America

The Anxiety of Ascent: Middle-Class Narratives in Germany and America

1st Edition

By Scott Doidge
January 14, 2020

This intriguing book re-evaluates a narrative of cultural decline that developed in the wake of Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. For Weber, and a group of influential sociologists that followed, Western modernity is marked by growing disenchantment with the beliefs and...

Metaphysical Sociology On the Work of John Carroll

Metaphysical Sociology: On the Work of John Carroll

1st Edition

Edited By Sara James
October 17, 2019

This volume critically engages with the work of the acclaimed Australian sociologist John Carroll. It makes the argument for a metaphysical sociology, which Carroll has proposed should focus on the questions of fundamental existence that confront all humans: ‘Where do I come from?’, ‘What should I ...

Everyday Moralities Doing it Ourselves in an Age of Uncertainty

Everyday Moralities: Doing it Ourselves in an Age of Uncertainty

1st Edition

By Nicholas Hookway
May 08, 2019

Winner of the 2020 Stephen Crook Memorial Prize fromThe Australian Sociological Association, a biennial prize for the best authored book in Australian sociology From concerns of dwindling care and kindness for others to an excessive concern with self and consumerism, plenty of evidence has been ...

Making a Living, Making a Life Work, Meaning and Self-Identity

Making a Living, Making a Life: Work, Meaning and Self-Identity

1st Edition

By Sara James
January 17, 2019

In a world in which individuals will undergo multiple career changes, is it possible any longer to conceive of a job as a meaningful vocation? Against the background of fragmentation and rationalisation of work, this book explores the significance and meaning of work in contemporary life, raising ...

Sociological Noir Irruptions and the Darkness of Modernity

Sociological Noir: Irruptions and the Darkness of Modernity

1st Edition

By Kieran Flanagan
April 27, 2018

Contrary to secular claims regarding the expulsion of religion, modernity does in fact produce unprecedented forms whose understanding re-casts the relationships between sociology and theology. This book explores ‘irruptions’ which disturb modernity from without: fragments or deposits of history ...

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