Moral Cultures, Reputation Work, and the Politics of Scandal

Gary A Fine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Status has long been a core concept motivating sociology as a discipline. As related to the positioning and valuing of individuals, status often takes the form of reputation. How is an individual treated as a cultural object with identity provided by those who have reason to judge? Reputation may be given to known individuals, to those who are widely celebrated within a society, and to those whose past achievements are worth recalling through institutionalized forms of memory. Not all reputations are positive, and individuals may be remembered for misdeeds or violations of norms as embedded in the recall of scandal, political and otherwise. Both reputation and scandal have effects within the interaction order, local group cultures, and institutional structures, including media. As consensus develops, the linkages of individuals and their known status shape shared conceptions of morality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-264
Number of pages18
JournalAnnual Review of Sociology
StatePublished - Jul 30 2019


  • collective memory
  • commemoration
  • identity
  • Reputation
  • scandal
  • status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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