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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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Of Children, Adults, and Tomorrow

Of Children, Adults, and Tomorrow

A Conclusion

Chapter:
(p.206) Chapter 8 Of Children, Adults, and Tomorrow
Source:
Alef Is for Allah
Author(s):

Jamal J. Elias

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520290075.003.0008

Continuing with the discussion of sacrifice and gender that was a major element of the previous chapter, this chapter argues that emotive constructs are moral contracts that both derive from and shape society as a pious community. As such, emotion is related to virtue and is therefore aspirational. In the makeup of the social unit, morale serves as an indicator of the condition and functioning of individual bodies within the group and of the collective disposition to which the group aspires in acknowledgment of morale’s social vitality. Morale becomes linked to aspiration for a better future, one populated by finer individuals, including oneself. As such, the quest for morale becomes imbricated in the desire to shape childhood and to use children to shape adult society. Drawing together the data, methodologies, and analysis of the previous chapters, the final chapter sharpens conclusions concerning the ways in which children stand in for adults in a variety of ways and how adult anxieties and aspirations are projected upon and experienced through children, transforming them into repositories of adult intentionalities. In the process, the visual image becomes the site of the performance, emotion, and affect.

Keywords:   moral contract, pious community, emotion, virtue, morale, childhood, aspiration, visual image, performance

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