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The Moral Veto
Framing Contraception, Abortion, and Cultural Pluralism in the United States

$40.99 (C)

  • Date Published: April 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521609845

$ 40.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Relevant and accessible for undergraduate students in sociology, history, political science, women's studies, and public affairs
    • In-depth understanding of the nature of state-level abortion laws in the years leading up to Roe v. Wade
    • Places the sociology of culture and symbolic politics at the center of our understanding of social movements
    • Provides an interpretation of the historical and political significance of Margaret Sanger, Mary Ware Dennett, and Catholic opposition to birth control
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...this is a book that can be read with profit by all serious students of its topics." --Keith Cassidy, The Journal of American History

    "Contraceptive laws and abortion policy are subject to a 'moral veto' unless the framing on the issue is palatable to moderate-middle citizens. So argues Gene Burns in his examination of how, why, and when both contraceptive laws and abortion policies were federal court decisions." -Laura R. Woliver, SIGNS

    "Burns sheds new light on seemingly well-covered territory. Drawing on extensive archival research on the contraception and abortion debates, Burns convincingly illustrates that social movements can be their own biggest obstacles with it comes to concrete political success." Mobilization Deana A. Rohlinger, Florida State University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2005
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521609845
    • length: 354 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    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
    Works cited.

  • Author

    Gene Burns
    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.

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