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The Local Lives of Moral Concepts. Ethnographic Explorations of the Everyday Shaping of Morality and Ethics I 
Luigigiovanni Quarta (Università di Bergamo)
Lorenzo Urbano (Politecnico di Milano)
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Peter Froggatt Centre (PFC), 02/026
Thursday 28 July, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

What are the local articulations of moral concepts? This panel aims to explore the way morality and ethics "come to life" through relationships and creative acts of subjects, and to reflect on how key concepts in moral discourse are shaped and transformed through the experience of the everyday.

Long Abstract:

Since the so-called "ethical turn" at the beginning of the 21st century, anthropological interest in morality and ethics has exploded, with multiple authors and perspectives on the way people live their moral/ethical life (Laidlaw 2002; Zigon 2008; Fassin 2014; Keane 2016). Even with the variety of this relatively amorphous "field", one suggestion has been constant: if words like "good" or "right" have meaning, this meaning is determined by their situated and contingent use in everyday life.

In his introduction to the Companion to Moral Anthropology, Didier Fassin (2012) argues that an anthropology of morality, a "moral anthropology", must pay attention to how morality and ethics are embedded in the social, the political, the economical: these dimensions never come to us as disconnected. And they are never disconnected from our own practices and representations as ethnographers. We are agents in the field, and we help shape moral and ethical concepts and narratives as much as any other person that inhabits that field.

We invite contributors to problematise these two dimensions, and the different theoretical and ethnographic horizons they open, reflecting on their own fieldwork. What are the articulations of moral concepts that we find in the field, and where can we find them? What is the line that separates the descriptive and the prescriptive, when we talk about morality and the ethical life of subjects? We are, in particular, interested in the intersection between epistemology and (ethnographic) practice in the study of the moral and the ethical (Lambek 2015).

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -