Risk management Vs risk retreat: A case study of child protection carriage

Year: 2004

Author: Singh, Parlo

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper reports on an interview based study on child care and protection policy and legislation in one Australian state. Specifically, it focuses on the ways in which policy officers frame child care and protection for teachers. Four major themes emerged in the interview talk of policy officers: (1) children’s rights (2) distinguishing between risk, harm and significant harm; (3) appropriate touch – when, where, how; and (4) strategies for dealing with teachers’ heightened anxieties. These themes were contextualized and analysed using two categories of literature. The first set of literature dealt with the changing ecology of childhood, particularly notions of children as paradoxically and simultaneously ‘wasted’ and ‘prized’ in these new globalized networked times. The second category of literature dealt with the emotional labour of teaching, as well as the psychoanalytic topic of ‘not wanting to know’ or be touched by knowledge.