Moral Laboratories: Family Peril and the Struggle for a Good Life

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Univ of California Press, Oct 3, 2014 - Social Science - 280 pages
Moral Laboratories is an engaging ethnography and a groundbreaking foray into the anthropology of morality. It takes us on a journey into the lives of African American families caring for children with serious chronic medical conditions, and it foregrounds the uncertainty that affects their struggles for a good life. Challenging depictions of moral transformation as possible only in moments of breakdown or in radical breaches from the ordinary, it offers a compelling portrait of the transformative powers embedded in day-to-day existence. From soccer fields to dinner tables, the everyday emerges as a moral laboratory for reshaping moral life. Cheryl Mattingly offers vivid and heart-wrenching stories to elaborate a first-person ethical framework, forcefully showing the limits of third-person renderings of morality.
 

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Contents

MORAL BECOMING AND THE EVERYDAY
59
MORAL PLURALISM AS CULTURAL POSSIBILITY
151
Notes
219
Bibliography
231
Index
253
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About the author (2014)

Cheryl Mattingly is Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Division of Occupational Science at the University of Southern California. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Aarhus University, Denmark. She is the award-winning author of The Paradox of Hope: Journeys through a Clinical Borderland and Healing Dramas and Clinical Plots: The Narrative Structure of Experience and coeditor, with Linda Garro, of Narrative and Cultural Construction of Illness and Healing, among other books.

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