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Figuring ViolenceAffective Investments in Perpetual War$
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Rebecca A. Adelman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823281671

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823281671.001.0001

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Affective Pedagogies for Military Children

Affective Pedagogies for Military Children

(p.52) Chapter 2 Affective Pedagogies for Military Children
Figuring Violence

Rebecca A. Adelman

Fordham University Press

This chapter explores how a range of institutions, both state and non-state, negotiate the instability latent in the term ‘military child.’ Focusing on internet resources for military children, the chapter analyzes how the websites represent the emotional experiences of military childhood back to that very audience. The chapter begins with the story of Omar Khadr, illustrating the politics of recognizing the militarized political subjectivities of young people. It then turns to a genealogy of the so-called military brat and an overview of the various ways that the U.S. military has interfaced with children, and how these histories inform the investments of affection, admiration, gratitude, pity, and anger circulating around military children today. The core of the analysis is a comparison of two websites, Sesame Street for Military Families (SSMF) and Military Kids Connect (MKC). Military homes on Sesame Street are characterized by warmth, intimacy, and intense focus on children’s needs. By contrast, Military Kids Connect presumes a military household marked by varying degrees of stress, constraint, and dysfunction. In disparate ways, both of these websites acknowledge and deny the impact of militarization on children, while also instrumentalizing their emotional well-being and transform coping into a child’s patriotic obligation.

Keywords:   coping, gender, Khadr, Omar, military children, military families, Military Kids Connect, political subjectivity, Sesame Street for Military Families, stress

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