The Social Worth of Children

Lesley A. Sharp

in The Sacrificed Generation

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780520229501
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520935884 | DOI:
The Social Worth of Children

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This chapter studies localized readings of success and failure in school and beyond, and examines the social worth of children in Ambanja. It first narrates the sudden death of a valuable young man who becomes a victim of lethal magic (often used by adults or other students against the most gifted students) that is used against him by an unknown rival, thus underscoring the fragility of school success. Next, it identifies forms of success that lie beyond the schoolyard, while noting those values that make children so precious. This chapter shows that the value of students hinges on both the adults' deep economic and emotional investments in their children.

Keywords: social worth; lethal magic; school success; value of students; parental investments

Chapter.  10239 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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