With close attention to the spheres of sport and religion as important sites of moral currency, this book draws on media coverage of major cases of hypocrisy, attending to differing meanings and consequences of hypocrisy within the US, France and Iceland. Instances come from scandals within the established churches, as well as cases from the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the Tour de France, and the inquest into the Hillsborough Disaster in the UK. It considers the importance of the context within which moral conduct takes place and the relevance of this for the occurrence of hypocritical action, while exploring also the implications of advances in computer and information technology for controlling messages and monitoring deceit. Identifying the negative effects of the detection of hypocrisy at individual and institutional levels, the author engages with the work of Goffman to argue for the importance of trust in institutions, underlining the necessity of minimizing and correcting hypocritical acts by which this is undermined. A detailed study of hypocrisy and the need for trust, this volume will appeal to scholars and students of sociology with interests in social and moral conduct, sport, religion, Goffman and the notion of social life as artifice.
Table of Contents
Introduction: is hypocrisy so ordinary as to ignore or the second worse vice?; Sport and religion in the United States; Some aspects of sport and religion in Iceland and France; Hypocrisy and information: technologies used in detection and in concealment; Hypocrisy and related deceits: when lying becomes normal; Hypocrisy and levels of trust within cultures; Ethical and theoretical implications of patterns of hypocrisy: artifice as a species constant or a variable
Stephen G. Wieting is Emeritus Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Iowa, USA and editor of Sport and Memory in North America.
’Who can we trust? That question is central to this ambitious examination of hypocrisy and its social consequences using religion and sport as major test cases. From political philosophy to sociology, from professional cycling to Icelandic sagas, Wieting takes us on an intellectual journey during which we must confront widespread hypocrisy in institutions and individuals whose identities supposedly rest on fidelity.’ Alan Bairner, Loughborough University, UK