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AJS. 2009 May;114(6):1675-715.

Motivation and justification: a dual-process model of culture in action.

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Department of Sociology, University of California, 410 Barrows Hall #1980, Berkeley, California 94720-1980, USA.


This article presents a new model of culture in action. Although most sociologists who study culture emphasize its role in post hoc sense making, sociologists of religion and social psychologists tend to focus on the role beliefs play in motivation. The dual-process model integrates justificatory and motivational approaches by distinguishing between "discursive" and "practical" modes of culture and cognition. The author uses panel data from the National Study of Youth and Religion to illustrate the model's usefulness. Consistent with its predictions, he finds that though respondents cannot articulate clear principles of moral judgment, their choice from a list of moral-cultural scripts strongly predicts later behavior.

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