The Rise and Fall of Moral Conflicts in the United States and Canada

By Mildred A. Schwartz and Raymond Tatalovich

© 2018

In The Rise and Fall of Moral Conflicts in the United States and Canada, sociologist Mildred A. Schwartz and political scientist Raymond Tatalovich bring their disciplinary insights to the study of moral issues. Beginning with prohibition, Schwartz and Tatalovich trace the phases of its evolution from emergence, establishment, decline and resurgence, to resolution. Prohibition’s life history generates a series of hypotheses about how passage through each of the phases affected subsequent developments and how these were shaped by the political institutions and social character of the United States and Canada.

Using the history of prohibition in North America as a point of reference, the authors move on to address the anticipated progression and possible resolution of six contemporary moral issues: abortion, capital punishment, gun control, marijuana, pornography, and same-sex relations. Schwartz and Tatalovich build a new theoretical approach by drawing on scholarship on agenda-setting, mass media, social movements, and social problems. The Rise and Fall of Moral Conflicts provides new insights into how moral conflicts develop and interact with their social and political environment.

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Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
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Quick Overview

Using the history of prohibition in North America as a point of reference, Schwartz and Tatalovich address the anticipated progression and possible resolution of six contemporary moral issues: abortion, capital punishment, gun control, marijuana, pornography, and same-sex relations.

The Rise and Fall of Moral Conflicts in the United States and Canada

By Mildred A. Schwartz and Raymond Tatalovich

© 2018

In The Rise and Fall of Moral Conflicts in the United States and Canada, sociologist Mildred A. Schwartz and political scientist Raymond Tatalovich bring their disciplinary insights to the study of moral issues. Beginning with prohibition, Schwartz and Tatalovich trace the phases of its evolution from emergence, establishment, decline and resurgence, to resolution. Prohibition’s life history generates a series of hypotheses about how passage through each of the phases affected subsequent developments and how these were shaped by the political institutions and social character of the United States and Canada.

Using the history of prohibition in North America as a point of reference, the authors move on to address the anticipated progression and possible resolution of six contemporary moral issues: abortion, capital punishment, gun control, marijuana, pornography, and same-sex relations. Schwartz and Tatalovich build a new theoretical approach by drawing on scholarship on agenda-setting, mass media, social movements, and social problems. The Rise and Fall of Moral Conflicts provides new insights into how moral conflicts develop and interact with their social and political environment.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    "Mildred A. Schwartz and Raymond Tatalovich have taken on an exceedingly important and challenging task − explaining how both Canada and the United States have dealt with some of the most intensely emotional issues of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Through meticulous and expansive analyses, rich with data and historical insight, they show how well we can understand processes of policy change and what we have yet to learn."


    Paul Burstein, Professor of Sociology and Adjunct Professor of Political Science, Emeritus, University of Washington, Seattle

    "In this book, Mildred A. Schwartz and Raymond Tatalovich use qualitative and quantitative analyses, and a subtle and nuanced assessment of the ballooning sociology and political science literatures to generate a rich understanding of these unusual policies. Most importantly, their model focuses on the policy life-cycle dimension that scholars have only begun to address. This book is filled with enough fresh ideas to keep scholars of the subject busy for years."


    Christopher Z. Mooney, W. Russell Arrington Professor of State Politics, Department of Political Science, University of Illinois at Springfield

    "Some of the most contentious issues in politics come down to struggles over culture and morality. Mildred A. Schwartz and Raymond Tatalovich have produced a powerful analysis of the life history of a wide range of moral conflicts. They skillfully identify the key processes, from establishment to resolution, for making sense of morality politics. This work shows the strength of comparative cross-national analysis."


    Neal Caren, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    "This new work by the two pre-eminent scholars of Canadian-US comparative morality politics will occupy a central place in the literature. The authors take a very helpful approach, classifying six issues ranging from the historical to the contemporary. Chief among their contributions is that they place the treatment of these issues in two very different political systems, emphasize the life cycles of each issue, and explore whether the issues provoke a one-sided or two-sided response."


    Melissa Haussman, Associate Professor of Political Science, Carleton University
  • Author Information

    Mildred A. Schwartz is professor emerita in the Department of Sociology at the University of Illinois Chicago and visiting scholar, New York University.


    Raymond Tatalovich is a professor in the Department of Political Science at Loyola University Chicago.
  • Table of contents

    1. Why Moral Conflicts Matter
    2. The Example of Prohibition
    3. Issue Portraits
    4. The Context of Moral Conflicts
    5. The Emergence of Moral Conflicts
    6. Establishment
    7. Continuity, Decline, Resurgence
    8. The Resolution of Moral Conflicts
    9. The Phases of Moral Conflicts