Criticism of Kohlberg’s Moral Stage Theory
The Kohlberg’s moral development theory was introduced in 1958 by Lawrence Kohlberg. He continuously improved on his theory based on the research he was conducting. According to his theory, the levels of development are separated into three, and each level has two stages. In the theory, he posits that moral development does not result from a genetic blueprint. He also dismisses the allegation that it comes as a result of teaching about morality. His argument is that moral development is a maturing process arising from pondering about moral issues (Walrath, 2011).
Kohlberg’s theory divides the levels of moral development into pre-conventional morality, conventional morality and post-conventional morality. The pre-conventional morality level refers to when obedience by an individual is motivated by authority. This level mostly applies to children and it consists of the first and the second stage. Stage one of this level is motivated by punishment. The second stage is motivated by avoidance of punishment and is focused on individualism (Walrath, 2011).
The conventional morality level is where people are focused on adhering to the customs and social norms. This level is divided into the second and third stage. The third stage emphasizes pleasing and maintaining happy relationships with each other. The fourth stage departs from the idea of pleasing others and emphasizes on following the accepted social norms and laws in order to maintain social order.
The post-conventional morality level is where individuals focus beyond the available conventions and go ahead to determine the appropriate moral norms and social interactions. This level contains the fifth and sixth stage of moral development. The fifth stage puts more emphasis on the maintenance of social contract and individual rights. The sixth stage focuses on universal principles. The morality principles here transcend mutual...
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