Socialization and Civil Society: How Parents, Teachers and by Micha de Winter (auth.), Micha de Winter (eds.)

By Micha de Winter (auth.), Micha de Winter (eds.)

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Extra info for Socialization and Civil Society: How Parents, Teachers and Others Could Foster a Democratic Way of Life

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The idea that ‘bad surroundings’ can elicit or promote bad behaviour is one that can count on finding little support in current youth and family policy-thinking. This is very evident in the ‘modern’ approach to child abuse, where almost all the attention is directed toward the identification of risk-families and toward effective individual interventions. Whilst it is true that there are demands for awareness campaigns, child-rearing guidance and information (‘universal prevention’) through the media, it is regrettably also the case that interventions aimed at social risk-factors have no place in this vocabulary (RAAK, 2007).

The question is whether a vital, educative civil society would be capable of freeing parents from the impasse and reversing the creeping rigidification of child upbringing. 2 THE DOUBLE-BIND AS A SOCIAL PHENOMENON Many feel that the citizen in modern western society is in the grip of anxiety. Terrorism, large-scale migration, criminality, climate change and new health risks – these are but some of the phenomena making people anxious about the future. Although the process of modernization holds out the promise that major threats like epidemics, poverty and crime can be effectively combated with the help of new scientific insights, it seems that this is far from a watertight guarantee.

To begin with, we can safely say that reconstruction of the social and material environment as advocated by the social hygienists is not one of the 19 CHAPTER 2 priorities of modern youth policy. Today’s youth and family policy is in the first place aimed at improving the early signalling, referral and treatment of so-called risk children and risk families. It is an approach based on the assumption that such problems have individual causes that need to be dealt with at the same individual level.

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