Child rearing in the “risk” society: On the discourse of rights and the “best interests of a child”

Educational Theory 60 (3):271-284 (2010)
Due to a number of radical changes in society, the role of parents in the upbringing of their children has been redefined. In this essay, Paul Smeyers argues that “risk” thinking, and the technologization that goes with it in the context of child rearing, naturally leads to the rights discourse, but that thinking about the relation between parents and children in terms of rights confronts one with a number of insurmountable problems. The concept of the “best interests of a child” that is often invoked is, to say the least, not at all clear. Smeyers contends that while the discourse of rights is clearly important and relevant insofar as the relation between parents and the state are discussed, it impoverishes our understanding of relations of family members when used as an all‐inclusive framework in that context. Therefore, he concludes that we must surpass the totalizing tendency of the transformation of the social realm into a system, of defining the relation between parents and children in technical terms, and of holding parents liable for their children's upbringing
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1741-5446.2010.00358.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,707
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
P. Smeyers (1998). Child-Rearing and Parental 'Intentions' in Postmodernity. Educational Philosophy and Theory 30 (2):193–214.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

20 ( #142,353 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.