We are pleased to offer for review ‘Moral Laboratories: Family Peril and the Struggle for a Good Life‘ by Cheryl Mattingly (University of California Press, 2014). Expressions of interest are welcome from across the medical humanities.
‘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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