Saving the Child for the Sake of the Nation: Moral Framing and the Civic, Moral and Religious Redemption of Children

Lynch, Gordon (2014) Saving the Child for the Sake of the Nation: Moral Framing and the Civic, Moral and Religious Redemption of Children. American Journal of Cultural Sociology, 2 (2). pp. 165-196. ISSN 2049-7113. E-ISSN 2049-7121. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1057/ajcs.2014.5) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/ajcs.2014.5

Abstract

This article argues that a range of child welfare interventions that sought to relocate children away from their birth families and home communities between the middle decades of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries drew on a common moral frame. These interventions – child migration schemes, assimilationist policies towards indigenous children, institutions of corrective confinement and the child protection movement – have typically been previously studied as isolated national or organisational phenomena. However, this article outlines a common moral frame to which they made reference structured around the figure of the redeemable child, vulnerable to the effects of polluted social environments, seen as needing to be re-located to new environments that would enable their civic, moral and spiritual redemption. This argument is situated within a discussion of the articulation of moral meanings as a social practice, which addresses both the central elements of this moral frame and the contexts in which it was articulated. This moral frame did not determine child-care practices within these schemes, but was one source of influence on them. In particular, the article examines the role of economic rationality in the management of these schemes, arguing that the sacralised status of the child within the family discussed in the work of Vivianna Zelizer was not extended to the children to whom these schemes were addressed. The article concludes by identifying key areas for future comparative study of these diverse schemes in relation to these shared moral meanings.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Depositing User: N. Isaeva
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2014 10:02 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2015 09:19 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/42362 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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