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The Politics of Child Sexual AbuseEmotions, Social Movements, and the State$
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Nancy Whittier

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195325102

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195325102.001.0001

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The Politics of the “Therapeutic Turn”

The Politics of the “Therapeutic Turn”

Self‐Help and Internalized Oppression

Chapter:
(p.40) 2 The Politics of the “Therapeutic Turn”
Source:
The Politics of Child Sexual Abuse
Author(s):

Nancy Whittier (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195325102.003.0003

This chapter discusses the hybrid political/therapeutic approach of feminist self‐help groups of the very early 1980s, which developed an analysis of internalized oppression that linked the political and the personal. Like their immediate feminist predecessors, these women constructed influential experiential knowledge about child sexual abuse, expanding on the politics and techniques of self‐help. They drew on and contributed to identity politics, constructing a collective identity as survivors. They also sought to influence how professional psychotherapy addressed child sexual abuse. They have been analyzed as part of a therapeutic turn in feminism; this chapter argues that the therapeutic turn remained fundamentally oriented toward social change.

Keywords:   self‐help, therapy, internalized oppression, peer counselling, feminism, collective identity, identity politics

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