2-1 | No Fear: Growing Up in a Risk Averse Society

Book Review

No Fear: Growing Up in a Risk Averse Society

Tim Gill
London: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 2007. Illustrations, notes, select bibliography. 94 pp. $12.50 paper. ISBN: 9781903080085

by Mary Rivkin

First Paragraph:

The extended essay No Fear: Growing Up in a Risk Averse Society presents a coherent, well-documented description of the interacting forces (especially parents, schools, judges, recreation workers, regulators, and the media) that severely limit five- to eleven-year-old children in their development of confidence, agency, knowledge, and happiness. The essay considers children of the United Kingdom in particular but, by extension, children in the United States too. These encroachments of the adult world include excessive monitoring, placing of some experiences and spaces off limits, the loss of natural environments, and the reduction of recess and other free time. Tim Gill bases his argument on child development theory and research and on practical experience. He also notes that children in northern European countries (particularly Scandinavia, the Netherlands, and Germany) have more opportunities for play.