Synopses & Reviews
Why have legislative initiatives occurred on such controversial issues as contraception and abortion at times when activist movements had demobilized and the public seemed indifferent? Why have abortion and contraception sometimes been framed as matters of medical practice, and at other times as matters of moral significance? Based on archival and sociological research, and speaking to issues in the study of culture, social movements, and legal change, The Moral Veto examines what the history of controversies over morally charged issues tells us about cultural pluralism in the U.S.
Examines the often surprising history of controversies over contraception and abortion in the United States.
About the Author
Gene Burns is an award-winning teacher and associate professor of public affairs at James Madison College, of Michigan State University. A sociologist by training, he is the author of The Frontiers of Catholicism: The Politics of Ideology in a Liberal World, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 1993. He has written articles on social movements, revolutions, and the politics of religion in the American Journal of Sociology, Theory and Society, Sociology of Religion, and other journals.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1. Framing contraception within moral worldviews: the early, radical birth control Movement; 2. The mainstreaming of birth control: a new alliance with eugenics and medicine; 3. Dennett's moral worldview and the catholic moral veto: unsuccessful frames for contraception; 4. Abortion before controversy: quiet reform within a medical, humanitarian frame; 5. Abortion and legislative stalemate: the weakness and strength of the medical, humanitarian frame; 6. Looking back: limiting frames, moral vetoes, and cultural Pluralism; Notes; Works cited.