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The Moral Project of Childhood – Motherhood, Material Life, and Early Children's Consumer Culture - NYU Press Scholarship Online
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The Moral Project of Childhood: Motherhood, Material Life, and Early Children's Consumer Culture

Daniel Thomas Cook


The Moral Project of Childhood argues and demonstrates that fundamental problems stemming from a growing acceptance of children’s moral, spiritual, intellectual, and behavioral pliability drive the assembly of a contemporary “moral architecture” of childhood from extensive maternal responsibility coupled with the increasingly hegemonic presence and existence of child subjecthood. Drawing on materials published in periodicals intended for women and mothers from the 1830s to the 1930s, the book examines how mothers—and, later, commercial actors—found themselves compelled to consider children’s i ... More

Keywords: child, childhood, children’s rights, consumer culture, consumption, history, interiority, materiality, morality, mother, motherhood

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9781479899203
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2020 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479899203.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Daniel Thomas Cook, author
Rutgers University-Camden