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Free Content Child sexual abuse, moral panics and emancipatory practice

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This article explores the shared interest of sociologists and social workers in moral panics when considering the public policy challenge of child sexual abuse. Enacted paedophilia is one aspect of the latter. The utilisation of moral panic reasoning in pro-paedophile arguments in the past 50 years is described and the recent version of that reasoning is addressed critically. A critical realist framework is adopted to offer immanent and explanatory critiques of moral panic theory when applied to child sexual abuse. Social work practitioners can reflect on the ideological struggle in the academy between an orthodox child protection position, on the one hand, and a libertarian position that endorses freedom of speech and action, on the other.

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Keywords: CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE; EMANCIPATORY PRACTICE; MORAL PANICS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 01 March 2017

This article was made available online on 05 January 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Child sexual abuse, moral panics and emancipatory practice".

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