Cultures of fear
This chapter explores the experience of fear in the lives of school-going children in India. Drawing upon the existing research around childhood studies, sociology of education and psychology, it attempts to explore the nature of this experience at both the level of the child and in the context of institutional spaces such as the school and the ways in which social structures mediate the experiences at these levels. In its analyses, the chapter proposes a relational approach to understanding fear through the different ways in which power operates in and around the lives of schoolchildren at multiple levels. The chapter then considers ‘alternative’ schooling spaces and interventions that have been shown to provide environments for learning that address some of the concerns around cultures of fear in schools and for schoolchildren. In conclusion, the chapter discusses the theoretical and methodological implications for further research in this understudied area in the Indian context.