Introducing Tameness

  • Rob CreasyEmail author
  • Fiona Corby


The claimed failings of young people, such as a heightened sense of sensitivity and an apparent lack of resilience, have led to them being referred to as snowflakes. This can be seen as the consequence of a tame childhood, wherein risk has been removed from children’s lives and where children are increasingly restricted in what they can do. Contemporary discourses relating to children, childcare, and parenting act as rules which regulate our understanding of each and that what follows from these understandings are practices that shape the lives of children. This is used to introduce the idea of tameness as found within the work of Rittel and Webber.


Resilience Snowflakes Risk Childcare Parenting Tameness 


  1. Blackman, T., Elliott, E., Greene, A., Harrington, B., Hunter, D. J., Marks, L., Mckee, L., & Willimas, G. 2006. Performance Assessment and Wicked Problems: The Case of Health Inequalities. Public Policy and Administration, 21, 66–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bore, A., & Wright, N. 2009. The Wicked and Complex in Education: Developing a Transdisciplinary Perspective for Policy Formulation, Implementation and Professional Practice. Journal of Education for Teaching, 35, 241–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bottery, M. 2016. Educational Leadership for a More Sustainable World. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  4. Brew, A. 2001. The Nature of Research: Inquiry in Academic Contexts. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brummelman, E., Thomaes, S., Nelemans, S. A., de Castro, B. O., & Bushman, B. J. 2015. My Child Is God’s Gift to Humanity: Development and Validation of the Parental Overvaluation Scale (POS). Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 108, 665.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Burman, C. J. 2018. The Taming Wicked Problems Framework: A Plausible Biosocial Contribution to ‘Ending AIDS by 2030’. The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa, 14, e1–e12.Google Scholar
  7. Creasy, R. 2018. The Taming of Education. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. 2008. Introduction: The Discipline and Practice of Qualitative Research. In: Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (eds.), Strategies of Qualitative Enquiry. 3rd ed. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  9. Foucault, M. 1989. The Archaeology of Knowledge. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fox, C. 2016. I Find That Offensive. London: Biteback.Google Scholar
  11. Gage, N. 2007. The Paradigm Wars and Their Aftermath: A ‘Historical’ Sketch of Research on Teaching Since 1989. In: Hammersley, M. (ed.), Educational Research and Evidence-Based Practice. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  12. Gronholm, P., Henderson, C., & Gronholm, P. C. 2018. Mental Health Related Stigma as a ‘Wicked Problem’: The Need to Address Stigma and Consider the Consequences. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15, 1158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gunderson, E. A., Gripshover, S. J., Romero, C., Dweck, C. S., Goldin‐Meadow, S., & Levine, S. C. 2013. Parent Praise to 1‐ to 3‐Year‐Olds Predicts Children’s Motivational Frameworks 5 Years Later. Child Development, 84, 1526–1541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gunderson, E. A., Sorhagen, N. S., Gripshover, S. J., Dweck, C. S., Goldin-Meadow, S., & Levine, S. C. 2018. Parent Praise to Toddlers Predicts Fourth Grade Academic Achievement Via Children’s Incremental Mindsets. Developmental Psychology, 54, 397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hammersley, M. (ed.). 2007. Educational Research and Evidence-Based Practice. London: Sage and The Open University.Google Scholar
  16. Hayden, C., & Jenkins, C. 2014. ‘Troubled Families’ Programme in England: ‘Wicked Problems’ and Policy-Based Evidence. Policy Studies, 35, 631–649.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jordan, M. E., Kleinsasser, R. C., & Roe, M. F. 2014. Wicked Problems: Inescapable Wickedity. Journal of Education for Teaching, 40, 415–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Knight, P., & Page, A. C. 2007. The Assessment of ‘Wicked’ Competences. Milton Keynes: Open University Practice-Based Professional Learning Centre.Google Scholar
  19. Kuhn, T. 1996. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  20. Lee, H. I., Kim, Y.-H., Kesebir, P., & Han, D. E. 2017. Understanding When Parental Praise Leads to Optimal Child Outcomes: Role of Perceived Praise Accuracy. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 8, 679–688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Plowright, D. 2011. Using Mixed Methods: Frameworks for an Integrated Methodology. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  22. Ravitch, D. 1998. What If Research Really Mattered? Education Week, 18, 33.Google Scholar
  23. Rittel, H. W. J., & Webber, M. M. 1973. Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning. Policy Sciences, 4, 155–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Stevens, I., & Hassett, P. 2007. Applying Complexity Theory to Risk in Child Protection Practice. Childhood: A Global Journal of Child Research, 14, 128–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Storr, W. 2017. Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It’s Doing to Us. London: Picador.Google Scholar
  26. Strelitz, J. 2013. “It Sounds Good But…”: Children’s Centre Managers’ Views of Evidence-Based Practice. Journal of Children’s Services, 8, 21–30. March 15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Suissa, J. 2013. Tiger Mothers and Praise Junkies: Children, Praise and the Reactive Attitudes. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 47, 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Times. 2017. Snowflake Generation Seek Solace in Safe Spaces. The Times.Google Scholar
  29. Wexler, M. 2009. Exploring the Moral Dimension of Wicked Problems. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 29, 531–542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wright, N. 2011. Between ‘Bastard’ and ‘Wicked’ Leadership? School Leadership and the Emerging Policies of the UK Coalition Government. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 43, 17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Psychological and Social SciencesYork St John UniversityYorkUK
  2. 2.School of Social Sciences, Humanities and LawTeesside UniversityMiddlesbroughUK

Personalised recommendations