By Emma Bond (auth.)
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Extra resources for Childhood, Mobile Technologies and Everyday Experiences: Changing Technologies=Changing Childhoods?
The risk climate of modernity is thus unsettling for everyone; no one escapes’ (Giddens, 1991, p. 124). The concept of risk is central to understanding childhood. Childhood is constructed as a time of innocence, vulnerability and dependence (Jenks, 2005), and, as argued earlier in this chapter, it is such images of childhood that are influential in shaping children’s identities in public life (Harden, 2000). Scott et al. (1998, p. 690) suggest that risk anxiety ‘managed through everyday practices provides a useful means of analysing contemporary fears about children and childhood’.
These changes affect relationships with family and friends, experiences in education and the labour market, leisure and lifestyles and the ability to become established as independent young adults . . As a Understanding Childhood 25 consequence of these changes, young people today have to negotiate a set of risks which were largely unknown to their parents; this is true irrespective of social background or gender, moreover, as many of these changes have come about within a relatively short space of time, points of reference which previously helped smooth processes of social reproduction have become obscure.
In individualised society, qualitatively, new types of personal risk arise and today’s risks derive from internal decisions that depend simultaneously on scientific and social construction: ‘the social effect of risk definitions is therefore not dependent on their scientific validity’ (Beck, 1992, p. 32). Livingstone and Haddon (2009) identified a complex spectrum of online risks associated with children’s internet 26 Childhood, Mobile Technologies & Everyday Experiences use and found that the risks that children identify as worrying them were often not those that adults were concerned about.
Childhood, Mobile Technologies and Everyday Experiences: Changing Technologies=Changing Childhoods? by Emma Bond (auth.)