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list price: $21.00
edition:Paperback
category: House & Home
published: July 2007
ISBN:9781554200214
publisher: New Star Books

Watch Yourself

Why Safer Isn't Always Better

by Matt Hern

reviews: 1
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security, violence in society
5 of 5
2 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $21.00
edition:Paperback
category: House & Home
published: July 2007
ISBN:9781554200214
publisher: New Star Books
Description

From warnings on coffee cups to colour-coded terrorist gauges to ubiquitous security cameras, our culture is obsessed with safety.

Some of this is drive by lawyers and insurance companies, and some by over-zealous public officials, but much is indicative of a cultural conversation that has lost its bearings. The result is not just a neurotically restrictive society, but one which actively undermines individual and community self-reliance. More importantly, we are creating a world of officious administration, management by statistics, absurd regulations, rampaging lawsuits, and hygenically cleansed public spaces. We are trying to render the human and natural worlds predictable and calculated. In doing so, we are trampling common discourse about politics and ethics.

Hern asserts that safer just isn't always better. Throughout Watch Yourself, he emphasizes the need to rethink our approach to risk, reconsider our fixation with safety, and reassert individual decision-making.

About the Author
Matt Hern lives in East Vancouver. He directs the Purple Thistle Centre, an alternative to school; runs a youth exchange program; edits Crank magazine; and is on the faculty at the Institute for Social Ecology in Vermont.
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Association of Book Publishers of BC
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Watch Yourself: Why Safer Isn’t Always Better

In this book, Hern examines our misguided and ineffective attempts to make modern life safe. With sections devoted to home life, children, neighbourhoods, outdoors, school, legal implications, technology, policing and surveillance, the author questions our acceptance of measures that he feels have more to do with control than with safety. He examines how policy-makers allow legal exposure to create an emotional response to risk that further skews our thinking. By differentiating safety and security the author reveals how current policies and strategies are more about reducing risk in order to meet economic criteria than about improving the quality of life. The results reduce our experiential learning and our self-reliance.

Hern is the author of Field Day: Getting Society Out of School, and the editor of Deschooling Our Lives.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2008-2009.

Other Titles by Matt Hern

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