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Growing up with risk

Growing up with risk

Betsy Thom
Rosemary Sales
Jenny J. Pearce
Copyright Date: 2007
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  • Book Info
    Growing up with risk
    Book Description:

    Growing up with risk provides a critical analysis of ways in which risk assessment and management - now a pervasive element of contemporary policy and professional practice - are defined and applied in policy, theory and practice in relation to children and young people. Drawing on conceptual frameworks from across the social sciences, the book examines contrasting perspectives on risk that occur in different policy domains and professional and lay discourses, discussing the dilemmas of response that arise from these sometimes contested viewpoints - from playground safety to risks associated with youthful substance use. The contributors address issues of gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status which impact on definitions and responses to risk, and consider related concepts, such as 'risk-resilience', care-control' and 'dependence-autonomy'. Written in an accessible manner, each chapter provides a specific policy case study to illustrate the cross-cutting themes and issues that will make it a key text for researchers and students. It also offers policy makers and practitioners a valuable insight into the complexities of balancing responsibility for protecting the young with the benefits of risk taking and the need to allow young people to experiment.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-238-5
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. List of tables, figures and boxes
    (pp. v-v)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vi-vi)
  5. Notes on contributors
    (pp. vii-x)
  6. ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-16)
    Betsy Thom, Rosemary Sales and Jenny J. Pearce

    Nowhere is the tension between the need to prevent risk and the necessity of learning to manage and take calculated risks more apparent than in the process of growing up from childhood to adulthood. Survival of the individual and of the social group has always relied on ensuring a balance between protecting the very young from danger and allowing the child to experiment and learn to navigate the risks and dangers encountered in daily life. In some circumstances, risk taking is socially approved and rewarded — in business life, in recordbreaking sports activities or in action in military service, for instance....

  7. TWO Mothering, deprivation and the formation of child psychoanalysis in Britain
    (pp. 17-36)
    Julia Borossa

    In the classic account of psychoanalysis, it is childhood that provides the key to the ailments of the suffering adult patient. The experiences and fantasies of the first few years of life, visceral, uncanny and mostly unresolved, continue to inhabit us in ways that we are not conscious of, and throw more or less serious obstacles in our path as we attempt to progress through life. Thus, the psychoanalyst’s main task is seen as providing an access to this childhood world that survives in the psyche, hidden, distorted but intact, and, in so doing, to defuse its hold over the...

  8. THREE Young people’s perceptions of ‘risk’
    (pp. 37-56)
    Jenni Ward and Mariana Bayley

    Young people’s lives are construed as almost synonymous with ‘risk’ and risk taking (Mitchell et al, 2001). It is well accepted that the transition from childhood to adolescence is marked by the forging of greater levels of independence (Jessor and Jessor, 1977; Lyng, 1990; Smith and Rosenthal, 1995; Shucksmith and Hendry, 1998; Coleman and Hendry, 1999; Farthing, 2005). The lifestyle changes that accompany this independence may result in exposure to a broader range of risks, including both behavioural and environmental risks (Millstein and Halpern-Felsher, 2002a). Adolescence is a period of enhanced risk taking and boundary testing and is typically coupled...

  9. FOUR Risk and the demise of children’s play
    (pp. 57-76)
    David Ball

    In 2002 the Children’s Society and the Children’s Play Council called on every council and school in Britain to carry out what they called a ‘daisy chain audit’. This curious name stemmed from the discovery that somewhere in Britain children had been told not to make daisy chains because of some suspected hazard. The audit’s purpose was to expose excessive or unnecessary restrictions on children’s play activities.

    Contemporaneously, the Play Safety Forum, a group of the main national organisations in England with an interest in safety and children’s play,¹ published an important pamphlet called ‘Managing risk in play provision’ (Play...

  10. FIVE Children’s perceptions of risk on the road
    (pp. 77-94)
    Kenneth Lupton and Mariana Bayley

    It seems a fundamental right that children and young people should be able to move about safely on our streets, yet, in 2002, 144 children aged between five and 16 years were killed on Britain’s roads and 3,950 were seriously injured. Deaths from road accidents represent 11% of all deaths and are the largest single cause of accidental death among schoolchildren. In recent years, in Britain, the number of deaths per head of population among child pedestrians has not compared favourably with other similar northern European countries, such as France or Germany (DfT, 2003). On the other hand, Britain has...

  11. SIX New technology and the legal implications for child protection
    (pp. 95-112)
    Alan S. Reid

    Electronic communication is a modern, pervasive phenomenon, enabling anyone to work, play and communicate 24 hours a day. Third generation mobile phones, combined with digital media convergence, has enabled the fixed internet to break free from the physical confines of the desktop to become truly wireless and portable.

    This interactive, interconnected and instantaneous world promises immense societal benefits for young people. They can play virtual games, interact socially to define, refine and express preferences and learn about the world around them, enhancing their personal development. Mobile phone and internet use is ubiquitous among young people, with instant messaging and texting...

  12. SEVEN Parenting and risk
    (pp. 113-132)
    Rachel Hek

    This chapter focuses on the ways risk is defined and applied in relation to social work with families. First, policy and practice in relation to child welfare will be considered. This will highlight how risk is viewed and identified by government policy makers and social care service providers. Second, the experiences of families who have been pulled into the child welfare system will be considered through an examination of research that looks at their views — in particular drawing on work carried out by the National Evaluation of the Children’s Fund (NECF). Parents’ and children’s views will be contrasted with those...

  13. EIGHT Meeting the needs of children whose parents have a serious drug problem
    (pp. 133-148)
    Neil McKeganey and Marina Barnard

    For years drug abuse treatment and child protection services in the UK have operated under the belief that drug addiction does not necessarily undermine a parent’s ability to look after their children. As recently as 2003, for example, the Scottish Executive was issuing guidance to services working with addict families saying that ‘parental substance misuse alone is neither a necessary nor a sufficient cause of problems in children’ (Scottish Executive, 2003, p 13). In May 2006 that, rather comforting, view was blown apart when the Justice Minister, the Health Minister and the Education Ministers in Scotland all put their name...

  14. NINE Lives at risk: multiculturalism, young women and ‘honour’ killings
    (pp. 149-164)
    Veena Meetoo and Heidi Safia Mirza

    Following the media coverage of several murders of ethnicised¹ young women, risks associated with gender-related violence in minority ethnic communities in Britain are high on the public and political agenda (Gill, 2003; CPS, 2004). Why are the risks faced by young ethnicised women being highlighted by national and local mainstream agencies now? In this chapter we aim to unpack how risks that some young women face are constructed and heightened in the current climate of risk in relation to multiculturalism and Islamophobia in Britain. We argue that young women from some minority ethnic communities living in the UK are exposed...

  15. TEN Risk embodied? Growing up disabled
    (pp. 165-184)
    Lesley Jordan and Rosemary Sales

    Growing up disabled imposes wide-ranging risks on young people and their families. Disabled young people are at greater risk than their peers of poverty, family breakdown and isolation. Further, they are at risk of being unable to make the transition to adulthood and a full and independent life. While the nature of these risks is well known, their source is explained differently by the two main ways of thinking about disability. The first, which has until recently prevailed within policy and practice discourse and public understanding, sees these risks as arising from the impairment itself. Conversely, the social model of...

  16. ELEVEN Young women, sexual behaviour and sexual decision making
    (pp. 185-202)
    Lesley Hoggart

    The concept of risk has become central to policy debate on young people and sexual behaviour in at least two ways. First, one prominent view, drawn upon in recent policy developments and by Tony Blair in the extract quoted above, sees sex as potentially risky and young people as sexual risk takers. The main risks associated with sexual intercourse are sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancy. For teenage mothers, a further consequential risk is social exclusion for themselves and their children (SEU, 1999). Second, a currently less influential meaning characterises sex itself as a risk that young people should...

  17. TWELVE Risk and resilience: a focus on sexually exploited young people
    (pp. 203-218)
    Jenny J. Pearce

    This chapter looks at the relationship between risk, resilience and sexual exploitation as experienced by young people. First it defines sexual exploitation. It then looks at the different types of risk factors that have been identified to make a young person vulnerable to exploitation. It looks at the risks that young people might face while being involved in a sexually exploitative relationship and the interventions that might support vulnerable young people. It explores these in relation to the young person’s resilience: their capacity to manage different forms of risk. It looks at the interplay between risk and resilience by referring...

  18. THIRTEEN In need of protection? Young refugees and risk
    (pp. 219-240)
    Rosemary Sales

    Public discourse and policy in Britain towards young refugees has been deeply ambivalent. On the one hand young refugees are seen as ‘at risk’ both as refugees who have endured difficult and sometimes traumatic circumstances and as vulnerable children who may also be separated from families and others who are able to care for them. On the other hand, as asylum seekers, they are presented as posing a risk to society. During the debate on the Green PaperEvery Child Matters(DfES, 2003), the government pledged that this title applied to all children without exception. The imperatives of an increasingly...

  19. FOURTEEN Alcohol: protecting the young, protecting society
    (pp. 241-258)
    Betsy Thom

    The physical, psychological, social and economic risks of alcohol misuse have received much attention in recent years and the dangers of excessive drinking, especially by young people, have been prominent in policy debate (PMSU, 2004). However, it is recognised that, in a society where most people drink, young people need to learn how to drink without incurring risks to themselves or others. The process includes both cognitive learning about alcohol and its effects and experiential learning about what is appropriate and acceptable in different social contexts.

    Awareness of the risks involved in alcohol use and the development of strategies to...

  20. FIFTEEN The prevention of youth crime: a risky business?
    (pp. 259-276)
    David Porteous

    With New Labour’s ascent to power in 1997 came a ‘new youth justice’ (Goldson, 2000). In this reformed system, the assessment and management of risk has been given a pivotal role. All young people referred to Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) in England and Wales are now assessed using a common, structured risk assessment profile known asAsset. This is intended to guide practitioners’ judgements as to the ‘riskiness’ of a young person and to enable them to identify the precise ‘risk factors’ contributing to their offending behaviour such that interventions can be tailored to individual needs. Asset is also expected...

  21. Index
    (pp. 277-284)