Over the last few decades, public opinion has been traumatised by revelations of child abuse on a mass scale. It has become the major human rights story of the 21st century in Western society.
This ground-breaking book explores the relationship between the media, child abuse and shifting adult–child power relations which,
in Western countries, has spawned an ever-expanding range of laws, policies and procedures introduced to address the ‘explosion’
of interest in the issue of child abuse.
Allegations of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy in Ireland – and its ‘cover-up’ by Church authorities – have given rise
to one of the greatest institutional scandals of modern history. Through in-depth analysis of 20 years of media representation
of the issue, the book draws significant insights on the media’s influence and its impact on civil society.
Highly topical and of interest and relevance to lecturers and researchers in the areas of childhood studies, sociology of
childhood, child protection and social work, social and public policy and human rights, as well as policymakers, this book provides an
important contribution to the international debate about child abuse as reflected to the public through the power of the media.
"an interesting account of the impact of the media on the reporting of child abuse...of interest to researchers in a wide number of areas including children’s studies, human rights, sociology, history, as well as policymakers and social workers." Critical Social Policy
"A very erudite interdisciplinary analysis that will be of great value to all interested in seeking to understand and improve the lives of children in Ireland and internationally." Brigid Featherstone, The Open University
Fred Powell is Professor of Social Policy and Chair of the Institute of Social Science in the 21st Century at University College Cork – National University of Ireland. He is the author of many books and articles and an international authority on civil society.
Margaret Scanlon is a postdoctoral researcher at University College Cork - National University of Ireland. She previously was based at the Institute of Education, University of London, and has produced a series of publications on childhood and youth.
Part 1: The reports;
The Construction of Child Abuse as a Social Problem;
The Public Child;
The Catholic Church, Scandal and Media;
The Ryan Report and the Charity Myth;
Child Abuse, Cultural Disbelief and the Patriarchal Family;
Part 2: The context;
Rethinking Children’s Rights;
Child Culture and Risk Society;
Angelmakers: the Hidden History of Child Abuse;
The Cultural Politics of Child Abuse;