Alan Hunt's Governing Morals: A Social History Of Moral Regulation

Decent Essays
The introduction of Alan Hunt’s Governing Morals: A Social History of Moral Regulation presents an overview of the many theoretical debates and resources spawned by the concept of ‘moral regulation’ – an ideology prevalent in the 1980’s which can be defined as a practice of governing in order to focus attention on social actions which attempts to influence the conduct of human agents. Through Hunt’s introduction case studies are utilized in paving the path for his discussion on moral regulation examining three British studies fluctuating from the Society for the Reformation of Manners which was active around the 1700’s, to Victorian aged sexual panics which allows for significant insight on early moral regulation projects. Although Hunt discusses multiple contentious issues on the concept of moral regulation, an isolation of some fundamental points in his…show more content…
Further, Hunt argues this entity is one which more often than not intertwines with politics.
Recalling Hunt’s definition of moral regulation describing such a concept as a method of governing where specific attention is paid to a specific group, the image which arises presents a host of government officials overseeing the group which needs to be regulated. However, Hunt draws away from this simple mentality taking a less convention approach arguing that such regulation is not limited to solely government officials arguing it stems from a variety of social bases, from the elite to the disadvantaged. Three distinct positions are identified through which moral regulation occurs, these being; from above, the middle, and below. Moral regulation from above follows the common way of thinking seeing that this method is reliant on government officials and state enforced policies designed to contain a group who appears to be deviating from the normative. The middle ground of moral regulation is condensed with religious organizations and the like which are the only group able to push their agenda
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