The ways in which values are assimilated to social research differ according to the theoretical frame of reference informing the research. An example from the writings of E. Digby Baltzell illustrates how a moral commitment shaped his assumptions about the nature of the social matrix and his research strategies. A Western moral rhetoric fares well if the researcher chooses a methodologically individualist framework. The framework assists a moral rhetoric by providing it with concrete rather than abstract social actors and with a basis for explanation in terms of motive rather than situational forces. Along the way moral statements can appear in the form of empirical generalizations and historical laws. Should sociologists deem ethically neutral social research desirable, this study suggests that concentration on scientific method, without exploring the value bases for selecting a frame of reference, is not a promising approach. A value analysis, especially around Weber's “value relevance,” may function propaedeuticly.