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Unequal Foundations – Inequality, Morality, and Emotions across Cultures - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Unequal Foundations: Inequality, Morality, and Emotions across Cultures

Steven Hitlin and Sarah K. Harkness


This book offers a novel theory and an original use of cross-cultural data to argue that the level of economic inequality in a society is reflected in the emotional experience of its members. People living in societies with greater equality experience more positive, binding emotions on a regular basis, while people living in unequal societies, like the United States, are significantly more likely to regularly experience negative, sanctioning moral emotions. We develop the idea that morality operates at both the societal and individual levels, and develop the thesis that individual moral emotio ... More

Keywords: morality, inequality, emotions, affect, social psychology, cross-cultural research

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190465407
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190465407.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Steven Hitlin, author
Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Iowa

Sarah K. Harkness, author
Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Iowa