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.
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