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THE SOCIAL CONTEXT OF MORAL MEANINGS IN TWO COMMUNITIES

JAMES H. PARKER
International Review of Modern Sociology
Vol. 6, No. 2 (AUTUMN 1976), pp. 363-370
Published by: International Journals
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41420613
Page Count: 8
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THE SOCIAL CONTEXT OF MORAL MEANINGS IN TWO COMMUNITIES
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Abstract

In a sample of two communities, survey research methods were used to determine the kinds of problems people would define as "moral" problems, whether they sought or gave advice on moral problems, and who tended to be sought out for advice about these problems. Our sample consisted of 254 "Businessmen," 263 health professionals and 446 respondents from the general population. In the general population sample we found that 14 per cent admitted receiving advice during the past years, 24 per cent admitted giving advice during the past three months, and 38 per cent reported discussing moral problems during the past three months. The kinds of moral problems the respondents reportedly gave or received advice about were rather narrowly circumscribed both in the general population and high status (health professionals and businessmen) samples. In both samples a majority of the issues discussed were the areas of sex or the family. In the general population we found that neighbors and friends were most often givers of advice, receivers of advice, and discussants about moral problems, followed in frequency by professional experts and family and relatives. Finally, our analysis showed that our general population sample received advice most frequently from persons with professional occupations and gave advice most frequently to persons with blue-collar occupations.

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