Third way parenting and the creation of the “named person” in Scotland: the end of family privacy and autonomy?

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    This article has been developed through the experience of working with the various organizations and individuals who have been part of the No to Named Person campaign. The aim of the article is to understand the emergence of the Named Person in Scotland and to explain the significant distance between legislators and policy makers and those who have opposed the Named Person initiative. We propose that the key to understanding these divergent views is predicated upon profoundly different views of the family, the collapse of the ideal of family autonomy, and its replacement with what can be described as “third way parenting.” Here, the meaning of the “Named Person” as laid out in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, and the opposing views that have been made against this act are explained. The “Named Person” provision in the legislation, it is argued, has developed with the rise of micro-managerial politics, the construction of the “at risk” child and the anxiety expressed about the early years of children, seen most clearly in the significance of early intervention policies. Within this context, parenting has become problematized and increasingly understood as a skills activity requiring training, support, and surveillance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-13
    Number of pages13
    JournalSAGE Open
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2016


    • At risk
    • Early intervention
    • GIRFEC
    • NO2NP
    • Family


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