Strangers no more: towards reconstructing trust.
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MORRISON, J. 2016. Strangers no more: towards reconstructing trust. In Morrison, J. Familiar strangers, juvenile panic and the British press: the decline of social trust. London: Palgrave Macmillan [online], chapter 6, pages 210-224. Available from: https://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9781137529954_6
Though we have long regarded our children as subjects of moral scrutiny and concern, rarely have they been treated with such heightened anxiety - or profound ambivalence - as they are in today's Britain. Late-modern childhood, as this book demonstrates, is perceived and portrayed as a state of both innocence and savagery, with juveniles besieged by a barrage of menaces while also presenting potential threats themselves. This ambivalence can be traced back through cultural deposits accumulated down the centuries - from political speeches and pedagogic tracts to folk-tales, children's fiction and visual art. Taken together, they present a continuum of oppositions in portrayals of the young that, in many respects, has remained remarkably consistent through time. As Chapter 2 showed, wide-eyed infants have repeatedly been distinguished from wild-eyed youths, girls from boys, middle-class from working-class (and underclass) kids and one's own from other people's. Moreover, a recurring undercurrent of all these antinomies has been an implicit moral distinction between 'worthy' and 'unworthy' children - and (more often than not) parents and families, too.