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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 157988 Find in a Library
Title: Threatened Children: Rhetoric and Concern About Child- Victims
Author(s): J Best
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 238
Sponsoring Agency: University of Chicago Press
Chicago, IL 60637
Publication Number: ISBN 0-226-04426-2
Sale Source: University of Chicago Press
1427 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Because crimes against children, including abuse, incest, molestation, sadism, and pornography, have attracted more attention in recent years, the author analyzes rhetorical tools used by child advocates when making claims aimed at raising public anxiety and examines the media's role in transmitting reformist claims and the public's response to statistics on threatened children.
Abstract: Drawing on a wide range of sources, including criminal justice records, news stories, and public opinion surveys, the author reveals how the cultural construction of social problems evolves. He discusses contemporary concerns about children, in particular the role of modernization in increasing the focus on children's well-being. Several images of children are noted that have been influential in the history of child saving: the rebellious child, the deprived child, the sick child, and the child victim. In particular, the image of children menaced by deviants has shaped public reaction to a wide range of social problems. Threats to children are discussed, and sociological perspectives on child victims and dangers faced by children are examined. A constructionist approach to dealing with the social problem of child abuse and cultural influences on child abuse are described. Consideration is paid to the rhetoric of claims making using the missing children problem as a case study, the evolution of defining social problems, and the media's role in contemporary claims making. References, notes, tables, and figures
Main Term(s): Child victims
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child abuse; Child molesters; Child Pornography; Child Sexual Abuse; Child welfare; Crimes against children; Cultural influences; Incest; Juvenile statistics; Juvenile victims; Media coverage; Missing children; Sexual assault victims; Sociological analyses
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