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The Politics of Child Sexual Abuse – Emotions, Social Movements, and the State - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Politics of Child Sexual Abuse: Emotions, Social Movements, and the State

Nancy Whittier


This book studies activism against child sexual abuse, tracing it from its emergence in feminist anti‐rape efforts, through the development of mainstream self‐help, conflicts with an opposing movement, and entry into mass media and public policy. Activists sought to change their feelings about child sexual abuse, to challenge its cultural invisibility, and to gain institutional resources. Elaborating a “therapeutic politics,” activists saw tactics for changing the self and emotion as crucial for widespread social change and combined them with efforts to change institutions and the state. The b ... More

Keywords: social movements, child sexual abuse, gender, public policy, feminism, therapeutic, self‐help, identity, emotion

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780195325102
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195325102.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Nancy Whittier, author
Smith College
Author Webpage