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Alef Is for AllahChildhood, Emotion, and Visual Culture in Islamic Societies$
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Jamal J. Elias

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520290075

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520290075.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Bringing Up Baby

Bringing Up Baby

The Construction of Childhood

(p.61) Chapter 3 Bringing Up Baby
Alef Is for Allah

Jamal J. Elias

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on the construction of childhood as the adult defined, historically and culturally constructed state of being a child, as distinct from the experiences, biology, and psychology of children. It explores the emergence of the modern concept of idealized childhood and juxtaposes it to anti-childhood, which is an equally idealized concept of a child in absolute want. Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian boy whose drowned body washed up on a Turkish beach and became a viral image, serves as a case study for the dichotomy between idealized childhood and anti-childhood. The social implications of notions of childhood are explored with reference to social debates over child soldiers and the legal age for marriage.

Keywords:   childhood, child psychology, anti-childhood, Aylan Kurdi, child soldiers, legal age for marriage

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