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contingent form of association Fevereiro 12, 2015

Posted by paulo jorge vieira in academia.
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Da introdução do livro “For moral ambiguity : national culture and the politics of the family” de Michael J. Shapiro. Aqui fica um pouco de provocação para alguns debates…

From the introduction in the book “For moral ambiguity : national culture and the politics of the family” of Michael J. Shapiro. Just to tease some discussions…


Under the banner of “family values,” a discursive campaign, in the form of a diverse set of closely associated conservative reactions, is being waged. At stake is control over contemporary national culture and the consciousness of succeeding generations. Articulated in political speeches by public personae as well as in trade and academic publications, the family values discourse is aimed at redeeming an imagined past and colonizing the present and future. The aim, specifically, is to install a commitment to the moral and political importance of the traditional family, a regulative ideal that is represented as both contractual and natural: It is centered in a legally and religiously sanctioned marriage; it is heterosexual; it is child-oriented; and, especially in recent decades, it is threatened by non-“family friendly” media representations of extrafamilial attachments, sexualities, and life styles. In pursuit of that aim, many contemporary neoconservatives are judging ideas, artistic genres, and institutions on the basis of a moral imaginary—a mapping of diverse conventions with respect to both family and civic relations within the assumption that those employed by some are more morally worthy than those of others. Indeed, rather than regarding the norms they approve as “conventions,” neoconservatives tend to regard them as “virtues,” as commitments that enjoy transhistorical validity.


Historically, the “family” is a contingent form of association with unstable boundaries and varying structures. As an object of appropriation in the contemporary culture wars, however, it is represented as a historically stable, noncontingent result of natural inclinations and morally appropriate choices. Best regarded as a reactionary politics of representation, the moralizing of the family features, among other things, moralistic attacks on contemporary popular culture genres (e.g., feature films and prime time television) and on a wide variety of official and vernacular practices as well as on aesthetic productions regarded as uncongenial to the neoconservative family imaginary.




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