The Child at Risk: Paedophiles, Media Responses and Public Opinion

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Manchester University Press, May 15, 2007 - Psychology - 196 pages
Paedophilia continues to be a public and emotive topic in contemporary Britain which is capable of generating great and varying levels of interest, concern and condemnation. The child at risk charts these social responses and unravels their underlying dynamics through detailed empirical research and theoretical analysis.

Anneke Meyer looks beyond the media and 'moral panics' for explanations of emotive social responses and the paradox pervading them (the paradox of increased regulation, of paedophiles and children, coinciding with continuing popular concern). Drawing on and developing a wide range of theoretical frameworks, the book identifies a number of dynamics which produce concern and renders regulation designed to reduce fears ineffective. These dynamics include the moral rhetoric of childhood and the exposition of the crisis of neo-liberalism and conceptualisations of 'the paedophile' as a dangerous pervert. As a result the book points beyond its immediate subject and furthers understanding in the areas of risk, childhood and governance, as well as collective concerns and emotions.

It will be essential reading in sociology, media studies and for those interested in media representation and governance.

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About the author (2007)


Anneke Meyer is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Durham

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