Contemporary articles citing Habermas J (1990) Moral Consciousness

habermas, discourse, public, groups, sphere, democratic, order, forms, society, language

Schneiderhan, Erik & Shamus Khan. 2008. "Reasons and Inclusion: the Foundation of Deliberation." Sociological Theory. 26:1 1-24. Link
This article provides two empirical evaluations of deliberation. Given that scholars of deliberation often argue for its importance without empirical support, we first examine whether there is a ``deliberative difference''; if actors engaging in deliberation arrive at different decisions than those who think on their own or ``just talk.'' As we find a general convergence within deliberation scholarship around reasons and inclusion, the second test examines whether these two specific mechanisms are central to deliberation. The first evaluation looks at outcomes within a laboratory setting; the second at videotapes of decision-making processes within this setting. Our results show two things. First, in terms of outcomes, deliberation differs from other forms of interaction. Second, reasons and inclusion are central to the deliberative process. The more reasons provided within each group, the more likely participants were to change their position; similarly, the more inclusive groups were, the more likely participants were to change their position. We conclude by arguing that more work needs to be done, both in evaluating the deliberative difference and in disaggregating deliberation and examining its central explanatory mechanisms.

Beemer, JK. 2006. "Breaching the Theoretical Divide: Reassessing the Ordinary and Everyday in Habermas and Garfinkel." Sociological Theory. 24:1 81-104. Link
This article argues that Habermas and Garfinkel present complementary perspectives on the dynamics of ordinary language and the ways in which communication is configured and prefigured in interactive settings. Together they provide a basis for thinking about action and its environments not simply in terms of the in situ or formal conditions in isolation from one another, but as extensions of an integrated dependency between the local (indexical) contexts in which interactions occur and the rational (pretheoretical) presuppositions that make such interactions possible. The conditions on which actors are identified as rational agents or as being bound by the structured environments in which they move are not differentiated in the course of everyday life. Communication consists of produced events that admit both rational presuppositions and practical accomplishments. Taken concomitantly, these properties constitute the necessary and sufficient conditions for creating the intersubjective links that individuals rely on when interacting.

Rabinovitch, E. 2001. "Gender and the Public Sphere: Alternative Forms of Integration in Nineteenth-century America." Sociological Theory. 19:3 344-370. Link
This paper intends to evaluate two competing models of multicultural integration in stratified societies: the ``multiple publics'' model of Nancy Fraser and the ``fragmented public sphere'' model of Jeffrey Alexander. Fraser and Alexander disagree oil whether or not claims to a general ``common good'' or ``common humanity'' are democratically legitimate in light of systemic inequality. Fraser rejects the idea that cultural integration can be democratic in conditions of social inequality, while Alexander accepts it and tries to explain how it may be realized. In order to address this debate, I analyze the cultural foundations of the female-led, maternally themed social movements of nineteenth-century America. The language of these movements supports Alexander's position over Fraser's, though it also suggests that Alexander is mistaken in the specifics of his cultural theory of a general and democratic ``common good.'' While Alexander's model of integration is structured uniquely by what he and Philip Smith have called ``the discourse of civil society,'' the evidence suggests a distinctly alternative, equally democratic code at play in this case, which I have labeled a discourse of affection and compassion.

Ku, AS. 2000. "Revisiting the Notion of ``public'' in Habermas's Theory - Toward a Theory of Politics of Public Credibility." Sociological Theory. 18:2 216-240. Link
There exist around the notion of the public three different yet overlapping dichotomies posed on different levels of analysis: public (sphere) versus private (sphere), public versus mass, and publicness versus privacy/secrecy. Habermas's book ([1962]1989) incorporates all the three sets of dichotomy without resolving the contradictory meanings and bridging the gaps among them. As a result, his conception of the public sphere becomes paradoxical in terms, and it undertheorizes the cultural properties of publicness. This article proposes all alternative conception of the public that may encompass the structural, institutional, and cultural levels of theorization in a more precise and coherent way. It is argued that the public is an imagined category about citizen membership that is attached to both institutions of state and civil society: In political practices, a symbolic ``public'' is institutionalized through an open communicative space where it is called upon, constructed, and contested as the central source of cultural references. In this connection, a notion of public credibility is introduced as an attempt to bring forth a richer and more dynamic conception about the role of culture in democratic struggles than that of critical rationality by Habermas.

Delanty, G. 1997. "Habermas and Occidental Rationalism: the Politics of Identity, Social Learning, and the Cultural Limits of Moral Universalism." Sociological Theory. 15:1 30-59. Link
While Habermas's theory of communicative action is deeply critical of all kinds of ethnocentrism, proposing a discursive concept of universal morality which transcends culture, a residual Eurocentrism still pervades it. habermas's theory rests on a notion of modernity which is tied to Occidental rationalism, and when viewed in the global context or in the context of deeply divided societies it is problematic. The theory fails to grasp that universal morality can be articulated in more than one cultural form and in more than one logic of development. However, his theory can be defended against its Eurocentric bias if it shifts its emphasis from a de-contexualized and transcendental critique of communication rooted in Occidental rationalism to a cosmopolitan model of contemporary cultural transformation. Crucial to that task is a weaker notion of rationality which recognizes that the problem of universality is also a cognitive cultural problem and not just a normative one. Bringing culture and identity to the foreground will involve making room for a level of discourse focused less on consensual agreement than on cultural understanding.

Nielsen, G. 1995. "Bakhtin and Habermas: Toward a Transcultural Ethics." Theory and Society. 24:6 803-835. Link

Gregg, B. 2002. "Proceduralism Reconceived: Political Conflict Resolution Under Conditions of Moral Pluralism." Theory and Society. 31:6 741-776. Link

Dahlberg, L. 2005. "The Habermasian Public Sphere: Taking Difference Seriously?." Theory and Society. 34:2 111-136. Link
The public sphere conception continues to hold center stage in debates and visions of radical democratic society, and Jurgen Habermas work continues to be the most popular starting point for developing this conception. However, the Habermasian public sphere has also come under powerful and sustained criticism from many quarters. Here I concentrate upon the critiques of a group of theorists to whom I refer as difference democrats. I examine the three key arguments of these critics:that the public sphere conception involves the exclusion of aesthetic-affective modes of communication and hence the voices of certain groups; that it assumes that power can be separated from public discourse, which masks exclusion and domination; and that it promotes consensus as the purpose of deliberation, which marginalizes voices that do not readily agree. Against these claims I show that the Habermasian public sphere can be read as maximizing the inclusion of difference in deliberative exchange. I demonstrate how the conception extensively accommodates aesthetic-affective modes of discourse, how it accounts for both negative and positive forms of power in discourse, and how it promotes the process over the end-point of rational discourse in public opinion formation.

Abend, Gabriel. 2008. "Two Main Problems in the Sociology of Morality." Theory and Society. 37:2 87-125. Link
Sociologists often ask why particular groups of people have the moral views that they do. I argue that sociology's empirical research on morality relies, implicitly or explicitly, on unsophisticated and even obsolete ethical theories, and thus is based on inadequate conceptions of the ontology, epistemology, and semantics of morality. In this article I address the two main problems in the sociology of morality: (1) the problem of moral truth, and (2) the problem of value freedom. I identify two ideal-typical approaches. While the Weberian paradigm rejects the concept of moral truth, the Durkheimian paradigm accepts it. By contrast, I argue that sociology should be metaphysically agnostic, yet in practice it should proceed as though there were no moral truths. The Weberians claim that the sociology of morality can and should be value free; the Durkheimians claim that it cannot and it should not. My argument is that, while it is true that factual statements presuppose value judgments, it does not follow that sociologists are moral philosophers in disguise. Finally, I contend that in order for sociology to improve its understanding of morality, better conceptual, epistemological, and methodological foundations are needed.

Roberts, John. 2012. "Discourse or Dialogue? Habermas, the Bakhtin Circle, and the Question of Concrete Utterances." Theory and Society. 41:4 395-419. Link
This article argues that the Bakhtin Circle presents a more realistic theory of concrete dialogue than the theory of discourse elaborated by Habermas. The Bakhtin Circle places speech within the ``concrete whole utterance'' and by this phrase they mean that the study of everyday language should be analyzed through the mediations of historical social systems such as capitalism. These mediations are also characterized by a determinate set of contradictions-the capital-labor contradiction in capitalism, for example-that are reproduced in unique ways in more concrete forms of life (the state, education, religion, culture, and so on). Utterances always dialectically refract these processes and as such are internal concrete moments, or concrete social forms, of them. Moreover, new and unrepeatable dialogic events arise in these concrete social forms in order to overcome and understand the constant dialectical flux of social life. But this theory of dialogue is different from that expounded by Habermas, who tends to explore speech acts by reproducing a dualism between repeatable and universal ``abstract'' discursive processes (commonly known as the ideal speech situation) and empirical uses of discourse. These critical points against Habermas are developed by focusing on six main areas: sentences and utterances; the lifeworld and background language; active versus passive understandings of language; validity claims; obligation and relevance in language; and dialectical universalism.