TILEAGA, C., 2012. The right measure of guilt: disclosure, transgression and the social construction of moral meanings. Discourse and Communication, 6 (2), pp. 203 - 222.
Using a discursive and ethnomethodological analytic framework, this article explores the social
construction of moral transgression and moral meanings in the context of coming to terms with
the recent communist past in Eastern Europe. This article illustrates some significant aspects of
everyday uses of morality and the socio-communicative organization of public judgements on
moral transgression. The article considers the range of public reactions and commentaries to
a public confession of having been an informer for the former Romanian secret police. Moral
reasoning around transgression takes several forms: a) invoking everyday psychological categories
and morally implicative descriptions associated with identities of persons and actions; b) drawing
upon culturally available metaphors and images with roots in Judaeo-Christian ethics and morality;
c) using the wider political context of coming to terms with the past as foundation and criterion
for moral judgement. This article argues that rather than attempting to analyse moral (public)
judgement in abstract, one must focus on the everyday constructions and uses of morality found
in social interaction and social responses to moral transgression.