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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 Paradoxical Consequences of Success

The Paradoxical Consequences of Success

Chapter:
(p.182) 8 The Paradoxical Consequences of Success
Source:
The Politics of Child Sexual Abuse
Author(s):

Nancy Whittier (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195325102.003.0009

This chapter returns to the question of activists' engagement with the state, examining the different forms that movement organizations' relationships with state authorities took during the 1990s and 2000s, when the therapeutic state around child sexual abuse was well‐developed, and shows the kinds of access and compromise these relationships brought. It discusses entry of activists into state agencies, movement organizations' professionalization, and increasing funding to provide services to the state, arguing that some groups became part of a para‐state. It traces organizations' use of crime victims compensation funds and activists' attempts to increase criminal and civil penalties for child sexual abuse Finally, the chapter analyzes newer organizations' involvement with public health initiatives to prevent child sexual abuse. Overall, the chapter argues that activists' involvement with the state was shaped by the priorities and pressures of the state, showing the continued power of medical and criminal approaches over others. Yet activists, particularly in the public health wing, continued to bring larger political goals into their work, illustrating the paradoxical nature of social movement outcomes.

Keywords:   therapeutic state, crime victims' compensation funds, movement professionalization, public health, child sexual abuse prevention, Violence Against Women Act, sex offender registries, movement institutionalization

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