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Moral pressure groups and the process of value implementation : a case study of the abortion debate

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Morehead, Alison F(Alison Frances) 1988 , 'Moral pressure groups and the process of value implementation : a case study of the abortion debate', Unspecified thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This thesis analyses the distinctive characteristics of moral pressure groups and
evaluates their contribution to the process of value implementation. The abortion
debate is examined as an example of a moral debate involving the participation of
moral pressure groups. The emergence of a system where values become
elaborated around moral issues is outlined.
The analysis begins with a review of the current literatures that deal with moral
pressure groups and moral issues. The review concludes that the concepts and
theoretical frameworks used in the literatures are incapable of distinguishing moral
pressure groups from other types of pressure groups, despite claims within the
literatures that moral pressure groups are distinct
Components of Talcott Parsons' theory are discussed and it is concluded that his
theory offers the researcher specific advantages for studying processes of social
transformation. His concepts are used as the basis for the development of a new
framework suitable for understanding the activities of moral pressure groups. An
adaptation of Parsons' model of the social system is presented (Figure 2) that
contains several new concepts with which to understand the distinctive
characteristics of moral pressure groups and moral issues. Figure 2 locates the
activities of moral pressure groups in a wider system of participation in moral debates.
This model is then reformulated specifically in terms of the abortion debate (Figure
3). A discussion of the abortion debate in Australia includes an explanation of
how and why abortion came to be debated as a moral issue. This discussion also identifies the major participants in the debate other than pressure groups and
locates them within the model.
The activities of seven Hobart abortion pressure groups are then examined at
length in a case study. The case study concludes that members of these moral
pressure groups are operating as moral entrepreneurs rather than as political actors.
The thesis suggests how the Hobart abortion pressure groups can increase their
chances of success. The applicability of the framework to other moral debates and
groups is discussed. The benefits of using Parsons' theory to examine empirical
processes are outlined.

Item Type: Thesis - Unspecified
Authors/Creators:Morehead, Alison F(Alison Frances)
Keywords: Pressure groups, Pressure groups, Abortion, Values
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1988 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.A.)--University of Tasmania, 1988. Bibliography: leaves 160-167

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