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The Moral Project of ChildhoodMotherhood, Material Life, and Early Children's Consumer Culture$
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Daniel Thomas Cook

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479899203

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479899203.001.0001

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Legacies of Value

(p.155) Conclusion
The Moral Project of Childhood

Daniel Thomas Cook

NYU Press

The conclusion connects themes woven through the previous chapters with the approaches and understandings of present-day children’s market researchers in order to argue that the dynamics of the moral project of childhood continue to inform contemporary understandings and approaches to the child. For one, the rise of the “creative child” in the post–World War II era repeats and extends the elements of taste central to nineteenth-century dynamics surrounding the production of the bourgeois child. As well, mothers continue to be implicated in the fabrication of children’s selves and interiorities largely through the work of provisioning of goods in ways that are responsive to children’s presumed and articulated subjectivities. The kind of child crafted out of an admixture of Christian conception, social class practice, and maternal accountability comprises the essential elements of a contemporary dominant, moral ideal. It is an approach that hopefully invites consideration of its ubiquity across domains rather than its exceptionality.

Keywords:   Creative Child, Market Research, Provisioning, Value

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