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Paranoid parenting? Rematerializing risk and fear for children.

Pain, R. (2006) 'Paranoid parenting? Rematerializing risk and fear for children.', Social & cultural geography., 7 (2). pp. 221-243.

Abstract

Both in the social sciences and in popular debates, recent commentaries on fear for children highlight the mismatch between children's and parents' fears and the risk of stranger danger, point to cultural changes to childhood and parenting in explanation. This paper suggests that a materialist approach to fear and risk may be equally helpful to understanding, and of more strategic advantage in promoting social change which benefits children, especially those who have been victims. It is argued that if research is child-centred, grounded in particular places, and explicit about the social stratification of risk, then experience of victimization itself can explain a large part of children's fears. In support, the paper draws on quantitative and qualitative research with 1,069 children aged 10–16 in a deprived area of northeast England. The geographies of child victimization and children's fears are compared, showing that many fears about public space are spatially congruent with experiences of risk. These geographies of risk and fear are gendered and racialized and, in this geographical context, paedophiles and asylum seekers have replaced the ‘stranger’ in children's accounts of danger. Implications for current public and policy debates are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Children, Risk, Fear, Paranoid parenting, Materialism, Northeast England.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14649360600600585
Record Created:09 Nov 2006
Last Modified:27 Feb 2014 16:47

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