Moral action as social capital, moral thought as cultural capital

Journal of Moral Education 39 (1):21-36 (2010)
This paper explores the idea that moral thought/reasoning and moral actions are actually two separate phenomena that have little relationship to each other. The idea that moral thinking does or can control moral action creates a difficult dualism between our knowledge about morality and our everyday actions. These differences run parallel to the distinction between social capital and cultural capital—where social capital is based on cooperation and trust and leads to purposeful solutions to real time social problems and cultural capital serves as a shorthand sign that certain individuals should be recognized as accepted members of an ongoing community. Social capital and cultural capital, like moral action and moral thought, are related and sometimes even dependent on each other, but they are different phenomena sometimes working towards different purposes. We suggest that moral action is actually a form and an originating source of social capital and moral thought is an important form of cultural capital in many social groups. The differences between moral action and moral thought can lead to social tensions—including which is more valuable and how each should be approached in terms of education. John Dewey suggested that morality is tied to active engagement in the solving of a community's problems and should be integrated into the everyday activities of the classroom. Those who view morality through more of a cultural capital lens often times see morality as a stable set of social values—an important resource that needs to be transmitted between generations
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DOI 10.1080/03057240903528592
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References found in this work BETA
W. James & F. C. S. Schiller (1907). Pragmatism. Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 15 (5):19-19.
I. E. & John Dewey (1934). Art as Experience. Journal of Philosophy 31 (10):275.
J. Dewey (1939). The Philosopher Replies. In John Dewey, Paul Arthur Schilpp & Lewis Edwin Hahn (eds.), The Philosophy of John Dewey. Open Court 515--608.

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