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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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Going Mainstream

Going Mainstream

Self‐Help Activism During the 1980s

Chapter:
(p.95) 4 Going Mainstream
Source:
The Politics of Child Sexual Abuse
Author(s):

Nancy Whittier (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195325102.003.0005

This chapter recounts the rise of single‐issue self‐help groups during the 1980s, showing how they both reflected and transformed the approach of their forebears and helped to popularize a modified analysis of child sexual abuse as widespread, but not as a result of gender inequality. These groups included men as well as women, defined sexual abuse in gender‐neutral terms, and focused on promoting self‐help. They advocated for survivors' issues and increased visibility, but eschewed other political issues. They were an important force in making the issue visible in mainstream culture.

Keywords:   self‐help, gender inequality, Voices in Action, Twelve‐Step groups

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