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Black, D: Moral Time


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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments 1. Introduction: The Nature of Social Time-The Origin of Conflict Part One: Relational Time 2. Overintimacy: Overinvolvement-Overexposure 3. Underintimacy: Underinvolvement-Underexposure Part Two: Vertical Time 4. Overstratification: Oversuperiority-Overinferiority 5. Understratification: Undersuperiority-Underinferiority Part Three: Cultural Time 6. Overdiversity: Overtraditionalism-Overinnovation 7. Underdiversity: Undertraditionalism-Underinnovation 8. Conclusion: The Geometry of Social Time-Tribal Time-Modern Time-Postmodern Time References

About the Author

Donald Black is University Professor of the Social Sciences at the University of Virginia. He is the author of six books, including The Behavior of Law, Sociological Justice and The Social Structure of Right and Wrong.


"Reading Donald Black is like reading Isaac Newton doing sociology. Clear, fundamental principles underlie the flux of particularities in which we live. In his previous work on law, crime, and morality, Black laid out the geometry of social space and showed how your morality depends on your location in social space. Now he sets the social universe in motion: Conflict is caused by movements of social time, with faster changes across bigger distances causing more severe conflict. Especially striking is Black's geometry of postmodernity, where individuals are intimate with no one but themselves, while media-connected to a global diversity of distant relationships; the result is self-conflict and self-therapy, together with a very abstract altruism toward everyone and everything. This is Donald Black's masterwork of sociological theory." --Randall Collins, Dorothy Swaine Thomas Professor of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania "Moral Time is a masterpiece which involves a most effective blending of sociological theory with world ethnographic data. As a very well written and highly engaging treatment, this book sees conflict as an ongoing process that is central to human life, and has the great strength of dealing with abstract theory at the same time that it brings in rich and vivid ethnographic detail, drawn from modern and nonliterate societies alike. Black's book will be a milestone in the study of moral behavior." --Christopher Boehm, Professor of Anthropology and Biological Sciences, University of Southern California "Donald Black has devoted his brilliant career to developing a pure sociology that is independent of psychological, biological, or any other type of individual influences. Moral Time, a stunning theoretical and empirical synthesis of all forms of conflict, culminates his efforts. It is an instant sociological classic." --Allan V. Horwitz, Board of Governors Professor of Sociology, Dean for the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Rutgers University "With his typical boldness, Black has produced another classic. Moral Time is his attempt at a general theory of conflict, and he succeeds admirably." --Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books "This is a great book, on par with or exceeding the value of Black's other classics, The Behavior of Law and The Social Structure of Right and Wrong... No amount of praise can adequately describe the respect it deserves... Moral Time represents a milestone contribution to our understanding of the wellsprings of human conflict."--International Criminal Justice Review "Black extends his early work on social conflict by developing a new concept of social time, arguing that the root cause of conflict is the movement of social time, including relational, vertical, and cultural time." --Law & Social Inquiry "Moral Time is an astonishing and audacious book, proposing a theory of all conflict at all times in all places. It is, quite simply, required reading for all serious students of violence, conflict, and morality." --Comptes Rendus

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